BioChemical Cycle of Carbon

By Savannah Witham

What is the Biochemical Carbon Cycle?

The Biochemical cycle is the transport and transformation of chemicals in ecosystems. With the biochemical carbon cycle, the element of Carbon makes a journey through the biotic and abiotic factors of earth in a pattern.

Chemical Reactions

Things that in some way need, provide, or use Carbon:

  • Giving birth
  • Breathing (We exhale Carbon Dioxide after having oxygen cycle through our systems)
  • Dying (release of all gases in your body)
  • Lighting a match
  • Forest Fires
  • Photosythesis (Plants need CO2 in order to create the oxygen we need to live)
  • Fossil Fuels (gasoline, Petroleum, Kerosene)

CO2+H2O+energy <=> CH2O + O2

Carbon is transferred between CO2 and living or dead organic material by the very basic photosynthesis / respiration reaction. Carbon is often referred to as the "building block of life" because living things are based on carbon and carbon compounds.


Organic Carbon Reservoirs include places like the ocean and soils.

Inorganic Carbon Reservoirs include things like fossil fuels and sediments throughout canyons and such places.

Pathway of Movement

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Human Interference With the carbon Cycle

In short, Carbon Dioxide, currently being blamed for global warming, is the product of burning Carbon based fuels like methane, and also petroleum based fuels. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is also taken out of the air by plants, algae, and bacteria that perform photosynthesis, and is added to a sugar like molecule to produce glucose (a sugar). The plant or bacteria then uses the glucose for fuel or stores it as starch. We are producing CO2 so fast that plants and algae are not taking it out of the atmosphere as fast as it is being produced. The extra gas contributes to global warming and climate change. The excess CO2 also may result in the future in massive increases of photosynthetic algae and bacteria which also could be bad for the oceans, having side effects such as killing all of the fish in the ocean if we are not careful.
The Carbon Cycle


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