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Carbon is the basis for all life on earth. This essay will explain the role of carbon dioxide in v arises parts of the carbon cycle. This essay will examine three main, and important parts of the carbon cycle, starting by explaining the role of the ocean in ob sorbing can. Next this essay will examine the human influences on the carbon cycle and human production of carbon dioxide. Thirdly this essay will explain what controls the carbon dioxide concentration. The ocean holds a vast amount of carbon.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is transferred into and out of the ocean continually, maintaining a balance by dissolving in cold polar water. Plankton also play a large role in maintaining a card balance. Plankton in the world oceans use carbon dioxide for growth (photosynthesis). Waste organic matter sinks down from these ecosystems, carrying can and nutrients away from the surface. As on land, changes to either components of the ocean carbon cycle, chemical or biological, have a great potential to modify climate change.
Scientists belive that the ocean currently absorb 30 - 50 per cent of the can dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuel. If they did not soak up and carbon dioxide, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would be much higher then the current level of 355 parts per million by volume. 1 The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been driven upwards over the last 150 years by humans activities. Carbon emissions from the U. S. are now estimated at 1. 4 billion tons per year (that?
s 5. 4 tons per person! ) 2 Recall that northeastern forests alone contain about five times that amount in wood and biomass, and you begin to appreciate their significance on global budgets. There are two ways in which we affect the carbon cycle. First we add new atmospheric carbon dioxide into the mix. Power generation and other fossil fuel emissions release about 6 billion tons of carbon per year, would wide, to the atmosphere.
Compared to the amount added naturally every year, approximately 100 billion tons 3, our contribution is small. However, the new carbon is remaining and accumulating in the atmosphere. Second, land use changes are converting forested systems, wich are carbon sinks, into agricultural and urban zones, which tend to be carbon source. For example, tropical forests losses are estimated to add 1 billion tons of carbon per year 4.
Perhaps more important, the opportunity to remove card dioxide from the atmosphere is greatly reduced when the forests disappear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means that it adwords heat reflected from the earth? s surface and prevents the escape of heat into space. A delicate balance has developed on earth, one that permits a wide variety of life forms to coexist. Too little heat trapping results in a cold planet. Too much heat trapping results in a more energetic atmosphere, and a less stable climate.
The average surface temperature of the earth has risen along with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in both the distant and the recent past. Humans play the largest role in the production of carbon dioxide. In 1995 the emissions of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere rose by 2 percent. Many say that the some increase was caused by a hot summer and cold winter with more people burning gas.
This was the largest jump in carbon dioxide emissions ever. 5 Canadian carbon dioxide emissions are mostly (98. 5 percent) accounted for by the combustion of fossil fuels. 6 Fossil fuels are of considerable economic value and their consumption is carefully monitored, energy-related carbon dioxide can be estimated more reliably than any other emissions source. The atmosphere? s carbon dioxide concentration has risen about 30 per cent since preindustrial times, enhancing the natural green house effect. The prediction of future climate change requires quantitative of the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, and thier contritributing natural and human influences. There is a natural cycling of carbon in the environment, causing a large exchange of carbon among the atmosphere, the land vegetation and soil, and the ocean marine biosphere. Evidence from ice core data suggests that this natural cycle has been roughly in balance, with olay minor variation, since about 10 000 years ago.
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Research essay sample on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fossil Fuels