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CARBON Introduction to Carbon and the Carbon Cycle LEARNING TARGETS Students will be able to describe Carbon and its importance to Earth. Students will be able to detail the Carbon cycle, and provide comparisons and similarities between short and long term Carbon movement. NGSS HS-ESS2-6: Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. CARBON What do you know about it? Fourth most abundant element in the universe. Absolutely essential to life on Earth. Presence or absence helps define if molecules are organic or inorganic. Every organism needs carbon for structure, energy, or both. Many diverse forms, from gas (CO2) to diamonds. CYCLES Periodic, repetitive sequence of events in a process that plays out over time, or keeps going on indefinitely. Familiar types of cycles Water cycle, nitrogen cycle, phosphorous cycle, rock cycle Carbon Cycle BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES Energy flows through an ecosystem and is dissipated as heat, but chemical elements are recycled. The ways in which an element—or compound such as water—moves between its various living and nonliving forms and locations in the biosphere is called a biogeochemical cycle. Biogeochemical cycles important to living organisms include the water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur cycles. CARBON CYCLE Movement of carbon between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and the biosphere. Reservoirs – Storage houses for large amounts of Carbon. Atmosphere Hydrosphere Geosphere – Sediments and rocks Biosphere – Land plants/animals and aquatic plants/animals Two types of Carbon Cycles, Slow and Fast Slow Carbon Cycle Carbon moves between rocks, soil, ocean and atmosphere. Takes between 100-200 million years. Movement of Carbon between atmosphere and lithosphere Atmospheric Carbon combines with water to form weak acid (carbonic acid). Falls to surface as rain, dissolving rocks (chemical weathering), releasing mineral ions. Ions travel to ocean through rivers, where calcium ions combine with bicarbonate ions to form calcium carbonate. Most calcium carbonate is made by shell-building organisms (corals) and plankton. SLOW CARBON CYCLE, cont. Calcium carbonate organisms die, and sink to ocean floor. Over time, layers of shells and sediment are cemented together, turning to rock. Carbon is stored in stone (limestone and its derivatives). 80% of Carbon-containing rock is made this way. Other 20% comes from living things (organic carbon), that has been embedded in mud Heat and pressure compress mud, forms sedimentary rock (shale), but also can become oil, coal, or natural gas. SLOW CARBON CYCLE, cont. Seafloor carbon pushed deeper into Earth through subduction. Heats up, and eventually is Carbon is released through volcanic activity (eruptions, seeps, vents). Also includes exchanges between oceans and atmosphere. CO2 vented by the ocean at the surface. Slow Carbon Cycle = Geologic Carbon Cycle. FAST CARBON CYCLE Measured in a lifespan. Carbon is able to form many bonds, up to four per atom. Seemingly endless variety of complex organic molecules, including long chains. Bonds in long carbon chains contain lots of energy. When chains are broken, energy is released. Excellent fuel for all living things. FAST CARBON CYCLE, cont. Main ways Carbon is exchanged in Fast Carbon Cycle. Photosynthesis Respiration Also includes decomposition and combustion (forest fires). Fast Carbon Cycle = Biological Carbon Cycle CARBON SINKS AND SOURCES Carbon Sink Absorbs more Carbon than it emits. Carbon Source Emits more Carbon than it absorbs. The amount of Carbon in a reservoir depends on the balance that exists between the sinks and the sources.