Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Carbon Cycle.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Carbon Cycle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carbon Cycle

2 D19 Explain how chemical and physical processes cause carbon to cycle through the major earth reservoirs.

3 Why study the Carbon Cycle?
All living organisms are built of carbon compounds. It is the fundamental building block of life. Carbon is cycled among Earth's reservoirs, just like water.

4 Carbon is unique Carbon can form four bonds at a time.
It bonds with hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements. It can also bond to other carbon atoms, forming a long chain of atoms These unique properties of carbon allow it to function as the building block for living things.

5 There are 4 Major Reservoirs which comprise the Earth
Biosphere – living things Atmosphere – the air Hydrosphere – the water Lithosphere/ Geosphere – the ground Carbon is found in each of these!

6 Biosphere The reservoir known as the biosphere is comprised of living things – plants, animals and everything else in between!

7 Biosphere The biosphere is all life on our planet.
This includes living organisms as well as the un-decomposed remains of dead organisms. The biosphere includes life on land and in the oceans

8 Biosphere Carbon Living things on our planet are carbon-based because most of the molecules in them are chains of carbon atoms linked together. In the biosphere, carbon is contained within organic molecules which contain carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Lecithin – triglyceride

9 balderdash

10 Atmosphere The reservoir known as the atmosphere is comprised of the whole mass of air surrounding the Earth

11 Atmosphere

12 Atmospheric Carbon In this reservoir, carbon is found as carbon dioxide (CO2) Carbon dioxide comprises less than 5 % of the atmosphere. It has a residence time of 10 years. But, it plays an important role with regards to our planet’s temperature, as we will discuss later on.

13 Looking forward … Greenhouse Effect

14 Hydrosphere This reservoir encompasses all of the waters on the earth's surface, such as lakes and oceans. The hydrosphere covers about 70% of the surface of the Earth and is the home for many plants and animals.

15 Hydrosphere

16 Hydrosphere Carbon In the hydrosphere, carbon mainly exists as dissolved CO2 Marine life including plankton and shellfish use this dissolved CO2 combined with Ca as calcium carbonate to form their shells and skeletons.


18 Lithosphere/Geosphere
This reservoir consists of the outer solid part of the earth, including the crust and uppermost mantle.

19 Lithosphere/Geosphere
The lithosphere consists of sediment and rocks of the upper crust of the Earth. Carbon enters the lithosphere through ocean sediments and by the burial of decaying organic matter.

20 Lithosphere Carbon Carbon can be found in the lithosphere in two forms Limestone / Dolomite - carbon in this rock originates from the living things in the ocean. Upon their death, these organisms become part of ocean sediments and over time they convert to limestone and becomes part of the lithosphere carbon reservoir. Coal, oil, and natural gas - these are the remains of ancient plants and plankton which have undergone geologic processes.



23 Basic Pathways for Movement of Carbon
Diffusion – movement of substances from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration Respiration – the process by which cells gain energy from organic molecules which consumes oxygen and releases carbon dioxide Photosynthesis – the process by which plants create glucose by combining carbon dioxide and water and utilizing the sun’s energy

24 Basic Pathways for Movement of Carbon
Eruption of Gases / Volcanic Eruptions – release of gases from the earth’s crust Burial and Sedimentation – the process by which loose materials deposited on the Earth’s surface form layers and eventually form rock Weathering and Erosion – the chemical and physical processes of breaking apart rocks into smaller pieces

25 Short-term (Fast Track) Carbon Cycle
Photosynthesis Respiration Decomposition Diffusion Minutes to Years

26 Long-term (Slow Track) Carbon Cycle
Weathering and erosion Accumulation of carbon-rich plant and animal material in sediments Fossil fuel formation This takes millions of years

27 Fast Track vs. Slow Track
You will learn more about these from your reading assignment tonight.

28 Sinks and Sources Sinks are ways that carbon is stored for long periods without being reintroduced to the atmosphere Sources are ways that carbon is moved into the atmosphere When in balance, the total carbon dioxide emissions and removals from the entire carbon cycle are roughly equal. Currently, the sources are overpowering the sinks

29 Overview - Natural Sources and Sinks
Billions of tons of atmospheric CO2 are removed from the atmosphere by oceans and growing plants, which function as ‘sinks,’ This carbon is emitted back into the atmosphere annually through natural processes also known as ‘sources.’

30 Natural Sources Animals and plants undergo respiration
This moves C from biosphere to atmosphere The oceans undergo diffusion of CO2 This moves C from hydrosphere to atmosphere Volcanoes undergo eruptions which release gases This moves C from lithosphere to atmosphere. Rocks and minerals undergo weathering and erosion This moves C from lithosphere to atmosphere or hydrosphere.

31 Natural Sinks Plants undergo photosynthesis;
This moves CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Oceans take in CO2 by diffusion This moves carbon from the atmosphere to the hydrosphere.

32 Manmade Sources – Use of Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels form over millions of years from buried plant and animal material When fossil fuels are burned to produce energy their carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2. This is the largest source of CO2 emissions globally

33 Manmade Sources – Deforestation
Trees cut down and burned Impacts temp. and stability of the soil Soil erosion Inc. in temp. because soil no longer covered by vegetation How does it affect the C cycle?

34 Manmade Sources – Cement Manufacturing
Calcium carbonate is heated to produce lime and CO2 US: 7 – 10 billion metric tons of C per year How does it affect the C cycle?

35 Manmade Sources – Cattle Farming
Cattle burps and flatulence Respiration How does it affect the C cycle?

36 Manmade Sources – Rice Farming
Flooding of rice paddies causes underwater organic matter to decompose Methane (CH4) is released How does it affect the C cycle? Rice Farming in Louisiana Rice Farming in Spain

37 How man affects sinks Growing trees and plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the biosphere. Humans cause deforestation, which erases this key carbon sink.

38 Manmade Sinks - Carbon Capture and Store
Carbon sequestration Capturing C from power plants and pumping it underground Expensive How does it affect the C cycle?

39 Manmade Sinks – Planting Trees
How does it affect the C cycle?


41 References ystem/biogeochemical_cycles.html arch=C Ocean-and-Atmosphere.html n/carbonCycle/humanEffect.asp

Download ppt "Carbon Cycle."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google