The Carbon Cycle

Carbon is present in all living organisms.This is the main component of living organisms. Humans, plants, and animals all possess the carbon in their body. The chemical formula for carbon is C. Now let us see how the carbon cycle works in the atmosphere. Our atmosphere is a closed chamber in which many cycles occur such as water cycle, nitrogen cycle and the carbon cycle.

How It Works

What this means is that the carbon is continuously rotated from one body to another forming a cycle which creates a chain of carbon. Many activities such as respiration and combustion emit carbon which then goes into the atmosphere. This cycle of carbon from the atmosphere to living organism continues in the cycle.

What happens when a particular living organism dies, well, in that case, the carbon content in his body is transferred to the earth which after millions of years transformed in minerals and metals. The ocean act as a carbon sink in which large reservoir of carbon is stored since many living organisms and minerals are found undersea.

Carbon Imbalance

A big problem occurs when this cycle has an imbalance which means when we produce carbon in the environment more than what can be absorbed by other living organisms such as trees which is a great absorber of carbon. This imbalance is created by a lot of human activities such as combustion of fossil fuel and deforestation which directly affect the carbon cycle and earth.

How does carbon cycle Imbalance happen?

There are two types of entities on the planet, first who release carbon and second who absorb carbon. These two groups maintain the carbon balance. The entity which releases carbon is of the greater number such as humans, animals, water bodies, combustion etc. Human beings have the largest carbon footprint on the planet. This large release of carbon creates environmental problems because carbon belongs to greenhouse gases and greenhouse gases are the good absorber of heat. Greenhouse gases are having an adverse impact on the planet, increasing the global temperature of the planet.

The other group of this carbon cycle is absorber group which absorbs carbon such as trees which absorb CO2 and release oxygen which humans inhale. Photosynthesis is the process in which CO2 is absorbed and oxygen is released.

So if you see the carbon releasing group outnumbers the carbon-absorbing group and this imbalance is vastly increased as humans continue to use fossil fuels and cutting forests. Our life on this planet earth is sustained by carbon which is part of everything and resides in every living organisms.