Human Impact on the Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Cycles
Human impact on the cycling matter in ecosystems can change a lot of things. Humans can either help or hurt things. The carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles are the three cycles of matter in ecosystems. What are these cycles? How do humans effect each one of these individual cycles? What are some examples of humans effecting these cycles?
What is the carbon cycle? “Sequence of processes through which carbon compounds move from one carbon reservoir or sink (such as forests and oceans) to another (such as atmosphere) and back. Since more carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and less is being 'fixed' (converted into organic compounds through photosynthesis by plants) because of the destruction of tropical forests, the carbon cycle is in danger or being severely disrupted. International accords such as Kyoto protocol are trying to limit the production of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) through the imposition of emission controls.”(Carbon Cycle, n.d.) Human intervention on this cycle is very important. Human impact on this cycle is hurting due to that humans are trying to suit and meet their own needs and wants. With humans burning fossil fuels they have added atmospheric carbon dioxide over 35% in preindustrial levels. Deforestation and soil degradation have put a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Since humans have been replanting trees and changed their ways of agriculture, this has helped this matter in several ways.
What is the nitrogen cycle? “Continuous natural cycle of biological, chemical, and geological processes by which nitrogen is circulated in the Earth's environment. Although the most plentiful element in atmosphere (78 percent by volume, compared to 21 percent of oxygen), nitrogen cannot be used directly by most living things unless it is converted ('fixed,' see...
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