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4.2 The Carbon Cycle
Terms in this set (31)
Why is Carbon important in ecosystems?
-It's the key element in all living organisms
T/F Carbon compounds are the basis for most biological molecules.
Where is Carbon found?
-Carbs (Carbon compounds)
-Proteins (Carbon molecules)
-Carbon compounds that organisms consume to gain useable energy
-Carbon molecules that form structural parts of organisms and control body functions
-Serve as a long-term storage of energy & provide insulation against heat loss
Where can Carbon be found?
-Atmosphere, ocean, earth's crust, all living things
What're Carbon Reservoirs?
-Refers to locations on Earth that store & release
organic carbon slowly
What're Carbon Sinks?
-A carbon reservoir that stores carbon for long periods or absorbs more carbon than it releases
Eg. Forest & Ocean
How do oceans store Carbon?
-In 2 forms
-Some of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere becomes dissolved in the water, where it is used by aquatic producers in photosynthesis
-Some carbon dioxide reacts with salt water to
form calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that is used to make the shells & other hard structures in marine organisms such as molluscs and corals
-When these organisms die, the calcium carbonate making up their skeletons becomes part of the ocean sediments that will eventually become limestone
Is Limestone Cave a Carbon Sink?
How do trees relate to Carbon?
-They convert atmospheric carbon into carbohydrates, which become a significant Carbon Sink
When is Carbon released from trees to the atmosphere?
-When they're burnt/ cut down
What're Fossil Fuels?
-Hydrocarbons found within the top layer of Earth's
-Include coal, oil, and gas
-Important reservoir of carbon
What's a Carbon Source?
-A Carbon reservoir that releases more carbon than it
What's the Carbon Cycle?
-The cycling of Carbon through ecosystems
What is responsible for most of the Carbon recycling?
-Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration
Why are products of photosynthesis used as the reactants in cellular respiration?
-Ensures a balance of oxygen & carbon dioxide within the biosphere
Photosynthesis Reaction Equation:
-6CO2 + 6H2O + energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2
carbon dioxide gas + water + energy → glucose (sugar) + oxygen gas
Carbon in the sugar (carbohydrates) is passed along food chains & webs by consumers & decomposers. It's finally released back to the atmosphere as CO2 gas through the process of cellular respiration.
Cellular Respiration Equation:
-C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6 H2O energy
glucose (sugar) + oxygen gas → carbon dioxide gas + water + energy
What're Greenhouse Gases? (GHG)
-Gases in the atmosphere that allow solar
radiation to pass through the atmosphere & be absorbed by Earth's surface, & then absorb
& trap any thermal energy radiated from Earth
-Include CO2 & methane
What's the Greenhouse Effect?
-The warming effect created by the ability of
Earth's atmosphere to trap thermal energy
T/F Without a certain amount of greenhouse gases, Earth would be too cold to sustain life as we know it.
What's the main source of Oxygen?
What 2 main gases is Air made of?
What is the most abundant element on Earth?
What's Oxygen combined with?
-It's combined with silicon along with other compounds to form silicates
What's the Oxygen Cycle?
-Describes the path of oxygen through ecosystems
-Occurs in combination with the carbon cycle
-Includes both photosynthesis & cellular respiration
What's Aerobic Respiration?
-Respiration that uses oxygen to release the energy in
What's Anaerobic respiration? (Fermentation)
-Respiration that doesn't require oxygen to
release the energy in carbohydrates
-Respiration that occurs in the absence of oxygen
-A process used by certain bacteria
-Certain plant & animal cells use this when extra energy is required (only for short periods)
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