The Organic Carbon Cycle

By Akhil Chamarthy and Joseph An

How it works

  • Fats, vitamins, nucleic acids, etc. all contain carbon components. These are all needed by organic organisms such as plants and animals
  • Carbon enters plants so that the process of photosynthesis can be used to create energy and provide food for other organisms
  • Glucose and oxygen produced from plants go to higher trophic level organisms that use cellular respiration to convert the glucose and oxygen back into carbon dioxide
  • The carbon cycle maintains equilibrium balance through organic organism interaction; a constant exchange of carbon is kept throughout the cycle

Human Impacts and Feedback Mechanisms

Positive Feedback Loop- Human impacts such as factories that manufacture metals, chemicals, automobiles, plastics and minerals, generate carbon dioxide as a byproduct. This creates a new equilibrium in the earth's atmosphere and may result in global warming.


Negative Feedback loop- occurs naturally within the carbon cycle. Constant exchange of carbon between decomposers, plants, and animals causes and oscillating carbon level.

Limitations

Deforestation- Less flow of oxygen through living organisms, leading to excess carbon in atmosphere


Overfishing

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