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The Carbon Cycle
The Carbon Cycle . Figure illustrates the carbon cycle on, above, and below the Earth's surface. Source: U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science Program .

Human interactions with the carbon cycle

The global carbon cycle contributes substantially to the provisioning ecosystem services upon which humans depend. We harvest approximately 25% of the total plant biomass that is produced each year on the land surface to supply food, fuel wood and fiber from croplands, pastures and forests. In addition, the global carbon cycle plays a key role in regulating ecosystem services because it significantly influences climate via its effects on atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. Atmospheric CO 2 concentration increased from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 390 ppm between the start of industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century and 2010. This reflected a new flux in the global carbon cycle — anthropogenic CO2 emissions where humans release CO 2 into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and changing land use. Fossil fuel burning takes carbon from coal, gas, and oil reserves, where it would be otherwise stored on very long time scales, and introduces it into the active carbon cycle. Land use change releases carbon from soil and plant biomass pools into the atmosphere, particularly through the process of deforestation for wood extraction or conversion of land to agriculture. In 2009, the additional flux of carbon into the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources was estimated to be 9 GtC—a significant disturbance to the natural carbon cycle that had been in balance for several thousand years previously. Slightly more than half of this anthropogenic CO 2 is currently being absorbed by greater photosynthesis by plants on land and at sea (5 GtC). However, that means 4 GtC is being added to the atmospheric pool each year and, while total emissions are increasing, the proportion absorbed by photosynthesis and stored on land and in the oceans is declining ( Le Quere et al., 2009 ). Rising atmospheric CO 2 concentrations in the twentieth century caused increases in temperature and started to alter other aspects of the global environment. Global environmental change has already caused a measurable decrease in the global harvest of certain crops. The scale and range of impacts from global environmental change of natural and agricultural ecosystems is projected to increase over the twenty-first century, and will pose a major challenge to human well-being.

The natural water cycle

The vast majority of water on Earth is saline (salty) and stored in the oceans. Meanwhile, most of the world's fresh water is in the form of ice, snow, and groundwater. This means a significant fraction of the water pool is largely isolated from the water cycle. The major long-term stores of fresh water include ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, as well as groundwater pools that were filled during wetter periods of past geological history. In contrast, the water stored in rivers, lakes, and ocean surface is relatively rapidly cycled as it evaporates into the atmosphere and then falls back to the surface as precipitation. The atmospheric pool of water turns over most rapidly because it is small compared to the other pools (e.g.<15% of the freshwater lake pool). Evaporation is the process whereby water is converted from a liquid into a vapor as a result of absorbing energy (usually from solar radiation). Evaporation from vegetated land is referred to as evapotranspiration    because it includes water transpired by plants, i.e. water taken up from the soil by roots, transported to leaves and evaporated from leaf surfaces into the atmosphere via stomatal pores. Precipitation is the conversion of atmospheric water from vapor into liquid (rain) or solid forms (snow, hail) that then fall to Earth's surface. Some water from precipitation moves over the land surface by surface runoff    and streamflow    , while other water from precipitation infiltrates the soil and moves below the surface as groundwater discharge    . Water vapor in the atmosphere is commonly moved away from the source of evaporation by wind and the movement of air masses. Consequently, most water falling as precipitation comes from a source of evaporation that is located upwind. Nonetheless, local sources of evaporation can contribute as much as 25-33% of water in precipitation.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, Bio 351 university of texas. OpenStax CNX. Dec 31, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11943/1.1
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