The Carbon Cycle Essay

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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 carbon cycle in the oceans involves both organic compounds and inorganic compounds. The distribution of these carbon forms are then largely controlled by the Solubility and Biological Pumps.

The Solubility Pump works because of the fact that CO2 is more than twice as soluble in cold water than warm
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As the carbon sinks, most of it will undergo decomposition. A small amount of the carbon ends up reaching the sea floor and about 1% of the carbon that entered the system is sequestered in the sediment.

Hannes Grobe 12 August 2006, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany The amount of carbon dioxide in the oceans is directly related to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as the air-sea interface tries to maintain a constant equilibrium. As the amount of anthropogenic CO2 has been rising in the atmosphere, this has meant a natural rise in the levels of CO2 in the oceans. This rise can have a large effect on the natural biogeochemical cycles of the oceans. The largest effect will be seen through the acidification of the oceans. When CO2 is dissolved in seawater it increases the concentration of hydrogen ions in the ocean, which then decreases the overall pH, causing acidification. This acidification can have a detrimental effect on marine biota through two main mechanisms: hypercapnia and the dissolution of calcium carbonates. Hypercapnia is the acidification of an organism’s body fluids and tissues due to increased CO2 partial pressures. This process has been shown to have long term effects on the physiology of water breathing animals including metabolic functions, growth and reproduction. These long- term effects may prove harmful on population and species levels.

The largest negative effect of increased

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