Book : Botany
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Posted by: CHELSEA
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Writer CHELSEA

Carbon Cycle

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Introduction

The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. It is one of the most important cycles of the earth and allows for carbon to be recycled and reused throughout the biosphere and all of its organisms. The Carbon Cycle is a complex series of processes through which all of the carbon atoms in existence rotate. The wood burned just a few decades ago could have produced carbon dioxide which through photosynthesis became part of a plant. When you eat that plant, the same carbon from the wood which was burnt can become part of you. The carbon cycle is the great natural recycler of carbon atoms. Without the proper functioning of the carbon cycle, every aspect of life could be changed dramatically. Plants, animals, and soil interact to make up the basic cycles of nature. In the carbon cycle, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it, combined with water they get from the soil, to make the substances they need for growth. The process of photosynthesis incorporates the carbon atoms from carbon dioxide into sugars. Animals, such as the rabbit eat the plants and use the carbon to build their own tissues. Other animals, such as the fox, eat the rabbit and then use the carbon for their own needs. These animals return carbon dioxide into the air when they breathe, and when they die, since the carbon is returned to the soil during decomposition. 

The carbon atoms in soil may then be used in a new plant or small microorganisms. The annual movements of carbon, the carbon exchanges between reservoirs, occur because of various chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes. The ocean contains the largest active pool of carbon near the surface of the Earth, but the deep ocean part of this pool does not rapidly exchange with the atmosphere in the absence of an external influence, such as an uncontrolled deep-water oil well leak. The global carbon budget is the balance of the exchanges (incomes and losses) of carbon between the carbon reservoirs or between one specific loop the carbon cycle.


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