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Carbon Cycle

  • By: Andrei G. Lapenas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The natural cycle of carbon is one of the biogeochemical cycles that link Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere with continental and oceanic biota. Together, these spheres and biota form the largest natural system: the ecosphere or global ecosystem. Detailed information on the size of carbon pools in the global ecosystem and on the direction, and magnitude of exchange fluxes are important parameters used in the construction of global carbon cycle models and in the forecasting of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and changes in the atmospheric greenhouse effect and climate.

Biota

During their formation from protoplanetary dust cloud, Earth, Venus, and Mars captured similar percentages of carbon. Due to differences in their history, however, the concentrations of carbon in the modern atmospheres of these terrestrial planets vary ...

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