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Bio Carbon Cycle

Carbon cycle in the savanna
by

Martin Deutsch

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of Bio Carbon Cycle

The Savanna Carbon Cycle Project Martin Deutsch Organic Molecules Carbohydrates Lipids Proteins Nucleic Acids A carbohydrate is made up of only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen Carbon Bonding Carbon is unique in that it can form long chains of its own atoms Because carbon has 4 valance electrons in its outermost shell, it can bond with up to 4 other atoms Carbon's ability to form stable bonds with many different elements in many different shapes creates an enormous number of carbon compounds Carbohydrates consist of monosaccharides, or simple sugars, and polysaccharides, or starches Carbohydrates store energy for cells and can also provide structure, such as cellulose does in plants Examples of simple sugars Carbon forms the backbone of all the molecules of life Carbon backbone Simple lipids, such as fats, oils and waxes, contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen Complex lipids have a more complicated structure. Some examples are steroids (lipids made up of 4 rings of carbon atoms) and phospholipids (lipids which contain phosphorus) Fats, or triglycerides, are made up of 1 molecule of glycerol and 3 molecules of fatty acids. Unsaturated fats have carbon double bonds, while saturated fats do not Example of a triglyceride Lipids are excellent sources of energy, make up the membranes that protect cells, and help regulate body processes Proteins are made up of amino acids, which contain a central carbon atom bonded to different side groups Central carbon atom There are thousands of different types of proteins, all with shapes suited to their specific function Proteins catalyze reactions, carry messages, and transport other molecules throughout the body The two types of nucleic acids are DNA and RNA, which work together to build proteins Nucleic acids are made up of nucleotides, which include a nitrogen base, a sugar, and a phosphate group Carbon sugar backbone DNA molecules are shaped in a double helix, and together contain all the genetic information of an organism Carbon double bonds The savanna ecosystem is mostly found in Africa and northern Australia It is characterized by grasslands scattered with shrubs and widely spaced trees Some sources of carbon on the savanna are: Respirating animals, such as elephants, zebras, lions, and hyenas Wildfires Decomposing organisms When animals breathe, they take oxygen out of the atmosphere (for use in producing energy) and replace it with carbon dioxide Click to learn more about respiration... Examples of the structure of carbon compounds Oxygen in Carbon Dioxide out Volcanoes Fires burn plants where carbon is stored, releasing it into the atmosphere Erupting volcanoes spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere Some carbon sinks (places that take carbon out of the atomosphere) in the savanna are: Plants, especially grasses, performing photosynthesis Click to learn about photosynthesis... Click to start learning about the carbon cycle in a specific ecosystem... When the bodies of animals get broken down after they die, the carbon in their bodies is released into the atmosphere When plants photosynthesize, they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen, storing the carbon in their bodies Carbon Dioxide in Oxygen out Water Organisms in watering holes collect carbon, then sink to the bottom when they die, making the pools carbon sinks Fossil Fuels Dead organisms become transformed by pressure into fossil fuels such as oil and coal Soil Dead plant matter causes carbon to be stored in the soil of the savanna Click to learn about human impact on the carbon cycle... Tree clearing Many trees have been cleared from the savanna in Australia to make room for cattle grazing area. Once the trees are cut down, they can no longer absorb carbon dioxide, throwing off the carbon cycle. Fire If humans planted trees instead of cutting them down, the carbon footprint would be greatly reduced Fires set by humans to clear areas for agriculture can release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere If people separated agricultural land from grassland, fires would not have to be set and the carbon footprint would be reduced Burning of fossil fuels Humans burn coal and oil taken from the savanna for energy, releasing the carbon stored in the fuels If people used renewable energy sources like solar power, there would be no carbon released into the atmosphere Unless humans stop putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the climate will heat up and the oceans will rise. We need to make a difference! Bibliography "All About Carbon Dioxide." A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change. US Environmental Protection Agency, 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 3 June 2013. <http://epa.gov/climatestudents/basics/today/carbon-dioxide.html>.

"Carbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 27 May 2013. Web. 3 June 2013.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon>.

"Chemical Compounds for Life." Mr. Stanley's Biology Page. Cherokee High School, 11 Mar. 2004. Web. 3 June 2013. <http://chsweb.lr.k12.nj.us/mstanley/outlines/organicap/aporgchem.html>.

Schaffner, Brynn. "Savanna Biomes." Blue Planet Biomes. N.p., 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 3 June 2013. <http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/savanna.htm>.

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