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Transcript of Carbon Cycling
What is the Carbon Cycle
The carbon cycle is the circulation and transformation of carbon back and forth between living things and the environment .
This cycle is a natural and integral part of life on Earth.
However in the last centuries humans have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which essentially led to:
What is Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Dioxide is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms linked to a single carbon atom by a covalent bond. CO2 is essential to many biochemical and biological processes.
It can't directly harm human beings and their health, as it will harm the atmosphere instead
It has indirect benefits to human, such as guaranteed global food security with the production of more quantity and better quality of food.
Traps heat in the atmosphere, and produces the greenhouse effect.
In excess, Carbon Dioxide can cause the planet to overheat, and as a result global warming occurs.
In its gas form CO2 is an asphyxiant.
Exposure to lower concentrations of carbon dioxide can cause some injuries
CO2 emissions are extremely harmful to oceans and the earth as a whole.
1) Plants absorb Carbon from the atmosphere:
Carbon Dioxide is one of the most important and present greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Plants use it in order to feed themselves through the process of photosynthesis, which involves using CO2 sunlight and water in order to produce oxygen and glucose. The glucose is stored and used for energy and growth and this way the plants act as a form of storage for carbon for the planet.
2) Animals ingest carbon through feeding on plants:
Animals eat plants that contain carbon and therefore intake the carbon themselves, and as these smaller animals get eaten by bigger ones the carbon moves up the food chain.
3. Carbon moves from organisms to the atmosphere:
Through cellular respiration plants and animals release broken down glucose in the form of carbon dioxide, water and energy. CO2 is then released back into the atmosphere through this process.
4. Carbon moves from organisms to the land:
When organisms die and begin to decompose, the carbon that was found in them is released into the ground and the environment. Furthermore when the decaying bodies are buried deep into the ground and are exposed to physical chemical changes for millions of years they turn into fossil fuels.
5. Carbon moves from fossil fuels to the atmosphere
Power plants, factories, cars and trucks often burn fossil fuels and slow for carbon to rapidly enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Of the large amounts of carbon that are released into the atmosphere 3.3 billion tons enters the atmosphere and the rest of the 5.5 billion tons dissolves into the ocean.
6. Carbon moves from atmosphere to the oceans:
The process of carbon dioxide absorbing into the ocean is a very slow process, about as slow as the process of release of carbon dioxide back into the ocean. Oceans as well as other water bodies absorb about ¼ of the CO2 from the atmosphere.
Gen and Lucía