Your cart is empty

Shop

Quantity: 0

Total: 0,00

0

Carbon cycle

Carbon cycle

Carbon is bound in organic substances during photosynthesis, while during breathing, it is released into the atmosphere.

Geography

Keywords

coal, cycle, carbon dioxide, carbon binding, carbon emission, photosynthesis, energy production, decomposition, respiration, weathering, combustion, carbon compounds, carbon-rich sediments, hydrocarbon, animal, plant, soil, methane, carbonates, hydrogen carbonates, volcano, living organism, biology, geography

Related items

Scenes

Carbon cycle

  • emission
  • binding
  • storage

Definitions of terms:

Carbon: a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. Carbon is known and has been used since antiquity. In nature it occurs both in its elemental and chemically bonded forms.
Most of carbon is found in bonded form as carbonate mineral (e.g. limestone, magnesite, dolomite). In water it is present as dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate. Natural carbon is mostly organic.
Coal is not an elemental carbon but rather a diverse mixture of carbon compounds. Crude oil and natural gas are primarily made up of various hydrocarbon compounds. A diamond is a carbon arranged in a crystal structure found in volcanic rocks. Carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere in large amounts. Carbon is also a component of the organic matter of living organisms.

Photosynthesis: the life processes inside plants, algae and certain bacteria that convert inorganic matters into organic matter by the light energy from the Sun.

Autotrophs: organisms that produce organic compounds from inorganic matter (carbon dioxide, water, ions). Autotrophs include plants, which utilise atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis.

Heterotrophs: living organisms that obtain organic matter to produce their own organic matter. Heterotrophs include the kingdoms of Animalia and Fungi.

Greenhouse effect: the retention of heat in the atmosphere. Solar radiation is re-radiated from the surface into the atmosphere. A part of the re-radiated energy cannot escape the atmosphere since a 'wall', the atmospheric greenhouse gases, do not let it escape. This energy portion is therefore re-radiated to the planetary surface.
Without this phenomenon the average temperature on Earth would be around 40 °C cooler. Due to human activities, carbon dioxide levels increase, which contributes to greenhouse gas emission and may cause global warming.

Animation

  • photosynthesis - The life processes in plants, algae and certain bacteria that convert inorganic matters into organic matter by the light energy from the Sun.
  • Cultivated plants
  • natural vegetation
  • aquatic vegetation
  • solar radiation
  • carbonate rocks (limestone, dolomite)
  • soil (debris, decomposed organic material)
  • carbonaceous sediments
  • water (dissolved carbonates and hydrocarbonates)
  • atmosphere (carbon dioxide, methane)
  • coal
  • hydrocarbon
  • living organisms
  • respiration
  • weathering
  • combustion
  • volcanic eruption
  • industrial emission
  • traffic emission
  • agricultural emission
  • combustion
  • photosynthesis
  • CO₂ emission
  • ingestion
  • breakdown
  • few days – tens of thousands of years
  • volcanic activity
  • acid rain
  • runoff
  • formation of coal and hydrocarbons
  • breakdown of corals and plankton
  • breakdown
  • carbonate rocks
  • magmatism
  • CO₂ emission
  • plate tectonics
  • millions of years
  • traffic emission
  • industrial emission
  • burning coal and hydrocarbons
  • soil erosion
  • photosynthesis
  • agricultural emission
  • forest burning
  • emission
  • binding
  • storage

Fast carbon cycle

  • combustion
  • photosynthesis
  • CO₂ emission
  • ingestion
  • breakdown
  • few days – tens of thousands of years

Slow carbon cycle

  • volcanic activity
  • acid rain
  • runoff
  • formation of coal and hydrocarbons
  • breakdown of corals and plankton
  • breakdown
  • carbonate rocks
  • magmatism
  • CO₂ emission
  • plate tectonics
  • millions of years

Human intervention

  • traffic emission
  • industrial emission
  • burning coal and hydrocarbons
  • soil erosion
  • photosynthesis
  • agricultural emission
  • forest burning

Narration

The number of chemical elements on the Earth is relatively constant, but their distribution and migration are changing both in the short and long terms, as a result of natural processes and human activities. In nature, substances are in a constant cycle, they undergo various changes and take on various forms.

Carbon is one of the most abundant elements on the Earth, it is a component in the atmosphere, rocks and living organisms. The carbon cycle is a complex process, as carbon is present in all living organisms.

Carbon is also present in significant amounts in the non-living environment, such as in carbonate rocks, in fossil fuels, in the atmosphere, in decomposing organic matter and in the hydrosphere.

The carbon dioxide content of air supplies living organisms with carbon. Autotrophs, organisms which can use atmospheric carbon, can fix carbon using the energy of sunlight and convert it into organic substances. This is the process of photosynthesis.

The substances in the carbon cycle may leave the cycle for periods of varying length. Dead animal and plant matter is broken down by organisms that decompose it. Most of its carbon content is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, while some of it is transformed into carbonate compounds and dissolved in seawater.

In the soil, organisms break down organic matter, and humus compounds are produced and accumulated. Organic matter may turn into coal and hydrocarbons if their decomposition is inhibited for a period measurable on a geologic time scale.

Living organisms convert a part of their carbon compounds into carbon dioxide, which they release into the air. This is the process of breathing. The carbon re-entering the air therefore becomes a carbon source for plants again.

Other factors, such as volcanic activity, combustion, the decomposition of dead plants and the weathering of rocks also play a role in the carbon cycle.

Human activity also has an impact on the carbon cycle. Therefore the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the burning of wood, coal and petroleum and by the transport and industry sectors is substantial.
These activities affect the balance of the Earth's ecosystem, since increasing carbon dioxide levels contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and lead to global warming.

Related items

Air pollution

This animation demonstrates the main sources of air pollution: Agricultural, industrial and urban air pollution.

Nitrogen cycle

Atmospherical nitrogen is bound by bacteria and used by living organisms in the form of various compounds.

Oxygen cycle

The oxygen cycle describes the movement of oxygen within its three main reservoirs.

The phosphorus cycle

The phosphorus cycle describes the movement of phosphorus through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.

The water cycle (intermediate)

Water on Earth is in a continuous state of change. The water cycle includes processes such as evaporation, precipitation, melting and freezing.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) (beginner)

Colourless, odourless, heavier-than-air gas. Necessary for the photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) (intermediate)

Colourless, odourless, heavier-than-air gas. Necessary for the photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon monoxide (CO) (intermediate)

Colourless, odourless gas, highly toxic to humans and animals in high concentration.

Carbonic acid (H₂CO₃)

Colourless, odourless liquid produced by dissolving carbon dioxide in water.

Deforestation

Deforestation has a negative impact on the environment.

House without carbon-dioxide emission

The design and structure of modern houses play an important role in environmental protection.

Photosynthesis

Plants are capable of converting inorganic substances (carbon dioxide and water) into organic sugar.

Underground coal mining

As opposed to opencast mines, in underground mines the layers covering coal are not removed, coal is extracted from mine shafts.

Volcanic activity

This animation demonstrates different types of volcanic eruptions

Formation of stratovolcanoes

Stratovolcanoes consist of layers of volcanic ash, debris and lava.

The water cycle (basic)

Water on Earth is in a continuous state of change. The water cycle includes processes such as evaporation, precipitation, melting and freezing.

Added to your cart.