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Lecture 7

Lecture 7

Earth Sciences
Course Code
Christine Burton

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GLG205 t 7
June 8
In steady-state conditions, for each reservoir the inflow = the outflow
- Proportions remain the same
- If X1 = X2 then you have steady-state conditions
Global change
- E.g. more carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere that it can remove
The Carbon cycle
- *be able to describe and mention relationship of short-term, medium-term, and long-term
- The most important reservoir for carbon is in sedimentary rocks
o Also relatively more carbon than other elements in all reservoirs
- Carbon flux into oceans from atmosphere and back(fast [1-10years])
- Some into sedimentary rocks(very slow)
- On land, carbon used in photosynthesis for plant growth (very quick process between biosphere
and atmosphere)
o Some stored in plants and soil
o Decomposition of dead organic matter emits carbon dioxide
o Some carbon released into rivers from land
- Sedimentary rocks provide long-term storage of carbon
- *carbon cycle
o Boxes and circles represent the reservoirs
o Shows the process which carbon moves from one reservoir to another reservoir
o Sediments -> atmosphere = organic matter is oxidized/limestone r carbon-rich rocks are
uplifted to surface and exposed to atmosphere and are weathered
- Photosynthesis, respiration t short-term cycle
- Subduction- medium-term
o Melting and release of carbon previously stored in rocks and released in volcanos
- Stored oil, gas, coal, and kerogen t long-term
- Organisms use carbon from atmosphere and oceans to construct their shells
o When they die, it goes back into the sediment
Short-term cycle
- Starts with the conversion of inorganic carbon (atmosphere) into organic carbon (biosphere)
through photosysthesis
- When carbon goes into sedimentary rocks, carbon leap from short-term to long-term
- Over 50 years
o Carbon increasing since 1950
o The zig-zag represents the short-term trend
- Over 3 years
o In every year there is a peak and a trough
o Trough t photosynthesis (plants took in carbon)
o Peak t respiration (carbon released into atmosphere)
o Due to growing season in northern hemisphere
- Over 1000 years
o Steady until 1800s after which there was a large increase in CO2
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