Biogeochemical Cycles Taylor Houia

The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle is the process that water takes to circulate from the land to the air then back to land again. It begins with the Sun's heat, the sun will provide energy to evaporate the water that is on the earths surface (ex. oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.). Plants can also create water that can be evaporated by a process called transpiration. After it evaporates, the water rises up and condenses. Thus creating tiny droplets in clouds. Once the clouds with the droplets meet cool air, precipitation (rain, sleet, or snow) occurs, and the water will once again return back to land. Human activities affect the water cycle in many different ways. For example: Storage water in reservoirs, groundwater mining, irrigation, urbanization, combustion, deforestation, and wetlands are all human interventions that help affect the water cycle.

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The Nitrogen Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle is a process by which nitrogen in the atmosphere or in the soil are converted by Nitrification or Nitrogen fixation. It is being converted into substances that can be utilized by green plants. The substances then return to the air and soil by the decay of plants and denitrification. Humans also can help affect the nitrogen cycle. For example, burning fossil fuels will result in changing the carbon storage. Like cars, factories, and power plants are all key contributors.

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The Carbon Cycle

The Carbon Cycle is the circulation of carbon atoms in the biosphere. This results in photosynthetic conversion of carbon dioxide into compounds by plants, which is consumed by herbivores. After this, the carbon returns to the atmosphere in a form of carbon dioxide by way of respiration, bacteria, decay of fungi, and combustion of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels, deforestation and other poor ag. practices are all key human activities that contribute to affecting the carbon cycle. Burning fossil fuels and deforestation lead to a disruption of balance.

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The Phosphorus Cycle

The Phosphorus Cycle is a process that creates phosphorus that is necessary for nutrients for plants and animals. It plays a huge role in cell development and plays a key part in being a component pf molecules that stores energy. The process begins when, rain and weathering causes rocks and minerals to release phosphate ions. This inorganic phosphate is placed in different soils and water. After plants take in the inorganic phosphate, animals then come and eat the plants. Once the phosphate is in the animal, the inorganic is then turned into organic molecules. Once the animal dies, it will decay. The organic phosphate is in the ground. In the soil, the organic forms can be available to plants by bacteria that break it back down into inorganic forms known as process known as mineralisation. Phosphorus in the soil can eventually be in waterways, and overtime could also be in oceans. Once it is here, it then can be put into sediments. The use of fertilizers and raising live stock is human activities that affect the carbon cycle. Hogs are the worst animal to raise because phosphorus is in their waste which eventually goes into soil. Which disrupts the moderate amounts.

Credits:

Created with images by Art Poskanzer - "rough water"

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