Biosphere Carbon cycle Phosphorus cycle Nitrogen cycle Water cycle Oxygen cycle Heat in the environment Heat Heat Heat Fig. 3-7, p. 55
1. CO2 is taken in by plants and photosynthetic aquatic organisms. Carbon Cycle 2. Plants are eaten by animals 3a. Animals respire and release CO2 into the atmosphere or water. or 3b. Organism dies and CO2 is decomposed and transformed into rock, coal, gas or oil. (fossil fuels) 4. Fossil fuels are then taken up by humans and heated to make energy and released back into the atmosphere.
We alter the carbon cycle by adding excess CO2 to the atmosphere through: Burning fossil fuels. Clearing vegetation faster than it is replaced. Effects of Human Activities on Carbon Cycle Figure 3-28
Bacteria are not as important in the phosphorus cycle as in the nitrogen cycle. Phosphorus is not usually found in the atmosphere or in a gas state only as dust. The phosphorus cycle is slow and phosphorus is usually found in rock formations and ocean sediments. Phosphorus is found in fertilizers because most soil is deficient in it and plants need it. Phosphorus is usually insoluble in water and is not found in most aquatic environments. FYI: Phosphorus
We remove large amounts of phosphate from the earth to make fertilizer. We reduce phosphorous in tropical soils by clearing forests. We add excess phosphates to aquatic systems from runoff of animal wastes and fertilizers. Effects of Human Activities on the Phosphorous Cycle
This is the first step of the nitrogen cycle where specialized bacteria convert gaseous nitrogen to ammonia(NH4 + ) that can be used by plants. This is done by cyanobacteria or bacteria (Rhizobium) living in the nodules on the root of various plants. Step 1:Nitrogen Fixation
Ammonia is converted to Nitrite then to Nitrate Step 2: Nitrification Step 3: Assimilation • Plant roots absorb ammonium ions and nitrate ions for use in making molecules such as DNA, amino acids and proteins.
After nitrogen has served its purpose in living organisms, decomposing bacteria convert the nitrogen-rich compounds, wastes, and dead bodies into simpler compounds such as ammonia. Step 4: Ammonification
Nitrate ions and nitrite ions are converted into nitrous oxide gas and nitrogen gas. • This happens when a soil nutrient is reduced and released into the atmosphere as a gas. Step 5: Denitrification
Human activities such as production of fertilizers now fix more nitrogen than all natural sources combined. Effects of Human Activities on the Nitrogen Cycle Figure 3-30
We alter the nitrogen cycle by: Adding gases that contribute to acid rain. Adding nitrous oxide to the atmosphere through farming practices which can warm the atmosphere and deplete ozone. Contaminating ground water from nitrate ions in inorganic fertilizers. Releasing nitrogen into the troposphere through deforestation. Effects of Human Activities on the Nitrogen Cycle
The Sulfur Cycle Figure 3-32
We add sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere by: Burning coal and oil Refining sulfur containing petroleum. Convert sulfur-containing metallic ores into free metals such as copper, lead, and zinc releasing sulfur dioxide into the environment. Effects of Human Activities on the Sulfur Cycle