Biogeochemical Cycles

Topics: Biogeochemical cycle, Biogeography, Oxygen Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: November 13, 2010
Imagine an ancient guru preaching about the energy flow of everything in the universe and how it is all connected. The biogeochemical cycles discussed in chapter 5 in Visualizing Environmental Science by Berg and Hager can be thought of a scientific explanation for a philosophical idea. The decision to write about this topic stemmed from recognizing the potential ideas that could flower from studying how the cycles work and how they relate to each other. When discussing things like pollution, more relevant and realistic solutions may be drawn if each of these cycles was more understood. Take the hydrologic cycle, for example, and throw in an area of heavy pollution and we are bound to get a reaction a lot like throwing tennis balls in a dryer. While you might have harmless intentions, it makes a lot of noise and causes a lot of damage.

The biogeochemical cycles consist of the carbon, hydrologic, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus cycles. Carbon is important to all living organisms and each organism reacts to it differently. Some organisms need carbon to survive while others produce carbon for others. On page 107 of the textbook, they talk about different options the planet has to create carbon. Water and its corresponding cycle is probably the most well-known cycle of the five. It is general knowledge that rain clouds produce a natural filtration system of water from oceans. The rain falls into rivers, lakes, land and what is not removed or needed is recycled back into our oceans. On page 109 of Visualizing Environmental Science the authors Hager and Berg discuss and diagram the nitrogen cycle. They talk about how there is seemingly no shortage of nitrogen in the atmosphere, how important it is to proteins and nucleic acids, and cynobacteria’s role in the production line. According to the text, the sulfur cycle is the least known and least studied of the biogeochemical cycles. Sulfur may enter the atmosphere by both land and ocean modalities and only a small...
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