Carbon/Oxygen Cycle. Zain Aamer, Christine Pak, Lorrin Stone, Vivian Xu

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1 Carbon/Oxygen Cycle Zain Aamer, Christine Pak, Lorrin Stone, Vivian Xu

2 Step One - Carbon Dioxide Carbon is released into the atmosphere through the form of carbon dioxide due to combustion and respiration Combustion - When carbon dioxide is released by burning (fossil fuels) Respiration - When animals intake simple sugars and oxygen, then release carbon dioxide (breathing)

3 (continued) Biomass also releases the carbon dioxide inside of it into the atmosphere through decomposition (minor step) Decomposition - When organic matter, plants, or animals are chemically broken down into simple elements and are returned into the environment as carbonates Carbonates - Chemical compounds obtained from carbon dioxide(co 2 ) or carbonic acid (H 2 CO 3 ), such as limestone

4

5 Step Two - Photosynthesis Plants will take in the carbon dioxide from environment and then release oxygen back into the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis Photosynthesis - When plants or trees with chlorophyll intake carbon dioxide, water, and energy from the sun for food, then release oxygen, sugar, and water vapor

6 (continued) A system in which carbon is absorbed from the environment is called a carbon sink Trees and oceans function as carbon sinks

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8 Example of Carbon Sink

9 Step Three - Oxygen The oxygen from photosynthesis is now taken in by organisms. They then release carbon dioxide back into the air through respiration, starting the cycle over again. Basic diagram of the carbon/oxygen cycle

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11 Eutrophication Eutrophication - When a body of water has excessive amounts of chemical nutrients Algae tends to grow more abundantly in areas of eutrophication, causing algal blooms Algal bloom - the rapid population growth of algae in a body of water

12 (continued) When the algae is decomposed, the organic matter it releases affects the oxygen levels of the water and harms marine life

13 Bodies of water turn green from the effects of eutrophication.

14 Identifying the Problem Mrs. Hinz and Ms. Schuckers use of fertilizer has a positive effect on their crops, but a damaging impact on the lake in their property The nutrients in the fertilizer, such as phosphorus, travel into the lake and cause an algal bloom in the water

15 (continued) Due to the process of eutrophication, the lake water turns into a thick green Eutrophication also causes the depletion of oxygen in the water This leads to the suffocation of the fish living in the lake

16 The Solution Use slow-release fertilizer Slow-release fertilizer releases a steady flow of nutrients into the soil According to The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, these fertilizers contain little to no phosphorus and can prevent pollution

17 (continued) Invest in an algae filtration system By filtering the algae in the lake, eutrophication can also be prevented The use of an algae filtration system is proven effective in an experiment performed by Lenntech, a company that supplies industrial water disinfection systems Large percentages of algae species were removed from water

18 Human Impact Human activities affect the levels of carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere When humans burn oil and other fuels, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere (combustion) Humans also cut or burn down a large amount of trees from the ecosystem, resulting in fewer carbon sinks to absorb carbon dioxide

19 (continued) With the enormous human population, many people are using up resources such as electricity, gasoline, and oxygen However, there are not enough carbon sinks to absorb the carbon dioxide we produce in our environment

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21 (continued) If this continues, our environment will fail under the conditions we create Multiple problems such as air quality and global warming result In turn, the human population itself will run out of resources and decline

22 Video on carbon/oxygen cycle

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