The Carbon Cycle Essay

1848 words - 8 pages

There are lots of natural processes constantly happening all around us, these processes are often linked by passing one type of atom to the next process which passes the same atom to the next one and so on. This ‘passing of the atom’ along a chain of processes is called a cycle, the series of processes in which the carbon atom goes through is called the carbon cycle. Each Carbon is the fourth most affluent element in the universe and is an important part of most molecules that make up most of the world’s natural resources and organic matter, which is why the carbon cycle is one of the most important cycles on earth. Through-out the cycle, carbon can become several different forms such as sugar, oil, diamond and marble. Processes such as photosynthesis, combustion and the compression of the earth play key roles in changing, containing and releasing carbon. All the chemical reactions and processes and forms carbon creates are part of the carbon cycle, which is one of the most important cycle on earth. The majority of carbon on earth is in the atmosphere the rest is stored in rocks, fossil fuels, oceans, plants and soil. Carbon is constantly being added to the atmosphere, the most common forms being carbon dioxide and methane gas. At the same time it’s being removed by plants on land and in the oceans. Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in sediment, fossil fuels, rocks and the ocean. The carbon in the atmosphere is almost always a compound called carbon dioxide.

The addition of carbon to the atmosphere
Currently the earth’s atmosphere contains most of the world’s carbon, in 2010 carbon levels in the atmosphere were measured at 18.4 billion metric tonnes.
Respiration and excretion
The most common natural way carbon enters the atmosphere is through respiration from living organisms. For living organisms consume carbon compounds such as glucose (C6H12O6) and breathe in oxygen (O2) while inside our bodies the elements and compounds are mixed up which results in the production of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane gas (CH4), water (H2O) and faeces which also contains carbon.
Decay
When plants and animals die they are decomposed and converted into organic matter, which if buried by other organic materials such as soil and water, then left for numerous years the extreme pressure builds up and can cause the formation of fossil fuels. Depending on the amount of animal and plant debris present, how long the material was buried and the temperature, changes the kind of fossil fuel the matter will turn into.
Combustion
Combustion is actually a chemical reaction between a substance and oxygen. There are many forests are the world that are manmade and have been created for humans to burn, this burning releases all the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Although wood is not the only substance that releases carbon dioxide through combustion. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gases are often burnt, in enormous amounts, in factories to...

Find Another Essay On The Carbon Cycle

Energy from Respiration is Essential for All Living Organisms

3348 words - 14 pages operations and used as a fuel for industry. The carbon inside the natural gas is released during the combustion process. Oceans play a key role in the carbon cycle, as they balance the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, by absorbing some of it. The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have grown in recent times due to the growth of industry and increase of fossil fuel burning. The oceans act as a ‘carbon sink’ by absorbing more carbon than

Photosynthesis: The Emergence and Early Evolution of Biological Carbon-Fixation.

1097 words - 4 pages carbon dioxide to glucose (Pierce et al, 2008). During this time, the Calvin cycle also provided a pathway of carbon fixation where isotope studies provided important information regarding carbon dioxide fixation (Drake, Gossner and Daniel, 2008). When carbon dioxide was used as a glucose equivalent in the fermentation process, the concentration had traces of carboxyl and methyl positions of acetate, and scientists concluded that clostridium

How the Ocean and Plants Affect the Removal of Carbon in Our Atmosphere

2013 words - 8 pages The Carbon cycle is the way that carbon moves around our planet. It is in everything we see and is always around us. It is used to help us grow, to make diamonds, and to make fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, peat and petrol. The carbon cycle shows us how carbon can be taken by plants and the ocean, and how it is added to the atmosphere by decomposition, humans, combustion (fires and burning), fossil fuels and from animals. The main points I

Daniel Dau

728 words - 3 pages earth carbon cycle. Its chemical formula is CO2 which has a half-life that ranges from 50 to 200 years . Carbon dioxide (CO2) has so many potential uses in the world. Its uses expand from the production of refrigeration systems, welding systems, water treatment process to carbonation of beverages, fire extinguisher, and food preservation to the manufacturing of electronic equipments. In refrigeration and welding systems, carbon dioxide is

Carbon

1062 words - 4 pages is a liquid, and if it has more than 20 carbons it is a solid (Kinoshita 230-237).The carbon cycle is the system of biological and chemical processes that make carbon available to living things for use in tissue building and energy release (Kinoshita 242). All living cells are composed of proteins consisting of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen in various combinations, and each living organism puts these elements together according to its own

Photosynthesis and Respiration

1133 words - 5 pages the electrons from the water to the sugar products. The equation for photosynthesis is carbon dioxide + water + the sun’s light = water and carbohydrates. Respiration is when glycolysis occurs in the cytoplasm of a cell. It produces two ATP’s and doesn’t need oxygen. The second step is the Calvin cycle, which occurs in the matrix of the mitochondria. The Calvin cycle, breaks down three carbon molecules from glycolysis producing carbon dioxide

Population and Global Warming

982 words - 4 pages cycles that had been going on around them forever. The environment is made up of many carefully managed check and balance systems. The most important one of these, in terms of climate change, is the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is a good example of a natural balance system. The carbon cycle contains three parts: terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric pools. Carbon moves between these three parts, changing phases and moving through organisms

Carbon Sequestration at St. Lawrence University

1636 words - 7 pages Forests are a critical player when it comes to the carbon cycle. Every year, forests store more than 1.0 x 1015 metric tons of carbon in biomass, detritus, and soils (Dixon et al.). The storing of this carbon dioxide is very important to our planet and threshold that allows humans to thrive. Climate change is occurring, but would be accelerating much faster without carbon sinks like our forests that store the carbon dioxide humans have

Global Warming And Sequestering CO2

1203 words - 5 pages , sequestered long term in a stable form, usually as fossil fuels. A key point to take away from this is that while we don't directly care how much carbon is in the last two forms, it is of indirect importance as any carbon in those forms will necessarily not be in the CO2 form we are trying to reduce. With that in mind it becomes clear that in order to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, we must increase it in the other two forms. Carbon Cycle: One often

The Importance of Plankton in Pelagic Food Webs and Carbon Cycling

642 words - 3 pages biogenic fluxes precludes a proper understanding of the ecology of the sea. Works Cited Smith, D.L. and K.B. Johnson. 1996. A guide to marine coastal plankton and marine invertebrate larvae. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall\Hunt. Co. 221 pp. Waller, G. (ed.). 1996. Sealife: A complete guide to the marine environment. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 504 pp. Turner, J.T. (Jan. 22, 2004). The Importance of Small Planktonic Copepods and their Roles in Pelagic Marine Food Webs. Zoolstud.sinica.edu.tw Netting, R. (Jan. 27, 2003). How do phytoplankton control the carbon cycle? Kids.earth.nasa.gov

Biogeochemical Cycles

2245 words - 9 pages Life on earth maintains its balance by the existence of four biogeochemical cycles, namely, the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the phosphorus cycle. These cycles are formed on the basis of various organic and inorganic nutrients which circulate through the cycle in different forms along these cycles. These cycles are essential because they prevent the nutrients from being depleted entirely and without these chemicals "life

Similar Essays

The Carbon Cycle Essay

1150 words - 5 pages Intro There are lots of natural processes constantly happening all around us, these processes are often linked by passing one type of atom to the next process which passes the same atom to the next one and so on. This ‘passing of the atom’ along a chain of processes is called a cycle, the series of processes in which the carbon atom goes through is called the carbon cycle. Each Carbon is the fourth most affluent element in the universe and is an

The Carbon Cycle Essay

1952 words - 8 pages The Carbon Cycle is a major component of the Biogeochemistry of the planet. Across the Lithosphere and Biosphere, carbon plays a large role in the creation of biomass as well as decomposition. The carbon cycle in the hydrosphere, particularly in the oceans, is not as well known. We do know, however, that oceans play a critical role in the carbon cycle because it acts as a large sink of carbon as it is rapidly exchanged with the atmosphere. The

Global Warming And The Carbon Cycle

847 words - 4 pages Relating Chemical Systems and Equilibrium to Technology, Society, and the Environment An increase in average global temperature/an increase in extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tornadoes Is the carbon cycle involved? Recent scientific evidence indicates that humans have upset the carbon cycle, leaving more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, burning

Humans Are Responsible For Global Warming

997 words - 4 pages the future. Global Warming: Natural or Human Driven In my opinion, humans not only contribute to global warming they drive it. Certainly, evidence exists that there is a natural cycle to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but it also clearly demonstrates that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have been steadily increasing since the industrial revolution. “Human activities are altering the carbon cycle both by