Human activity impacts the carbon cycle by introducing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere, changes temperatures and alters the salinity levels of oceans, disturbing the salt and water balance equilibrium that supports proper growth of marine plants and animals. Some carbon dioxide generation occurs naturally, although human actions, such as burning fossil fuels and operating factories, accelerate its creation and escape into Earth's natural environments. This translates to warmer air temperatures and higher acidity levels in water bodies.Know More
Carbon dioxide forms part of the Earth's atmosphere, along with other gases such as methane and oxygen. These gases operate in a delicate balance, working harmoniously to regulate temperature, water storage and precipitation. The influx of excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the air disturbs this balance. Carbon dioxide molecules function as temperature regulators. With less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, temperatures on Earth fall.
More carbon dioxide, however, brings warmer temperatures. This triggers accumulation of water vapor and additional precipitation. In oceans, rising carbon dioxide levels increase ocean temperatures. Warmer temperatures reduce nutrient quantity and diversity, jeopardizing plankton and other marine life. Higher temperatures also weaken shells of crustaceans and creatures with shells, increasing their vulnerability. On land, more carbon dioxide facilitates the growth of some plants, while impairing growth for others.Learn more about Human Impact
The role decomposers play in the carbon cycle is breaking down the remains of dead plants and animals. Through this process, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere via respiration, which is the second step in the carbon cycle. Decomposers refer to microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, that are seen properly only through a microscope.Full Answer >
Decomposers help reclaim carbon from dead organisms and put it back into the carbon cycle so living organisms can use it. Decomposers break down dead plants, animals and waste products. This process releases carbon dioxide through cellular respiration.Full Answer >
Photosynthesis is the process that removes carbon dioxide from the Earth's atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere when it mixes with water and forms carbonic acid, which is the acid that's partially responsible for the weatherization of rocks along and in the sea.Full Answer >
The carbon dioxide and oxygen cycles work through processes that convert carbon in the atmosphere into oxygen and transform oxygen back into carbon dioxide. Plants are the main producers of oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. They use carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce energy and release oxygen into the atmosphere.Full Answer >