Biogeochemical Cycles MArine Science

The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle is the process water takes as it transforms and moves throughout the Earth and its features. The sun's heat provides heat energy for the sitting water in the Earth's oceans, rivers, and lakes to evaporate. Evaporation is the process from a liquid transforming into a gas. As the water evaporates, it gets dense in certain areas creating clouds. Condensation is the process when the water gets dense thus turning back into a a liquid. As water builds up in the clouds, certainly there is a point where the water is too much to hold. As a certain holding point is reached, the liquid becomes too heavy. Precipitation is when the water is back into a complete liquid form or even a solid (depending on the temperature) and falls back down onto the surface of the Earth. As the water falls back onto the surface, the water can run-off into the rivers and lakes leading into the ocean and can also absorb into the soil thus making food and growth for plants adding to the food chain. The water cycle is on constant repeat.

The Carbon Cycle

The Carbon Cycle is the process that Carbon takes as it is transferred throughout the Earth. The carbon dioxide gas and carbon gas flowing around in the air looks for other oxygen molecules to attach to. The carbon attaches to oxygen on things such as plants and soil, which animals eat, thus converting energy to the food chain. Breathing adds to the carbon cycle. Every time you exhale, carbon dioxide is let back into the atmosphere. This process is called Respiration. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas which is important because greenhouse gases keep the Earth heated.

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Nitrogen cycle is the process that Nitrogen needs to take throughout the Earth transferring energy. The Nitrogen composed in the atmosphere needs to be oxidized for living organisms in a process called Nitrification Nitrogen is in the three building blocks of life: DNA, RNA, and proteins. Nitrogen fixation is where the Nitrogen gas from the atmosphere is transformed into ammonium (NH4). The ammonium in the soil and or nitrate in the soil is absorbed by the living organisms (plants) in a process called Nitrogen uptake. The nitrogen is them added to the food chain being able to be apart of the proteins in the body of animals, humans, and plants. Nitrogen mineralization is when the organic matter of Nitrogen gas (N2) is converted into NH4, and inorganic matter.

The Phosphorus Cycle

The Phosphorus cycle is an interesting one. It is the only cycle out of the main four that does not contain a gas phase. Phosphorus cycle is important because it is a main component of ATP which is a source of energy. Phosphorus is also in certain fats, cell membrane and the shells of animals. Phosphorus is gained in plants by starting out in the soil water near the plants. The plants uptake the Phosphorus along with other nutrients and wait for the animals to eat them. The Phosphorus then is transferred over to the animals as a source of energy. As the organisms die, they release the Phosphorus through their tissue and decomposition that the bacteria seems to absorb. The energy is now in the bacteria surrounded by the soil and water, starting the process all over again.

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