NCERT Notes: Geography – Carbon Cycle

Subject: Geography 
Category: The Fundamentals of Physical Geography 
Topic: NCERT Notes: Geography - Carbon Cycle

NCERT notes on important topics for the UPSC civil services exam. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on. This article talks about the Carbon Cycle.

Carbon
  • Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe and is absolutely essential to life on Earth.
  • It is the basic element of all living organisms which are made of carbon.
  • It is also a part of the ocean, air, and even rocks.
  • Because the Earth is a dynamic place, carbon does not stay still.

 

The Carbon Cycle

  • The carbon cycle is chiefly the conversion of carbon dioxide.
  • It is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is interchanged among the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere of the Earth.
  • Plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to make their own food and grow.
  • The conversion of carbon dioxide is started by the fixation of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis from the atmosphere.
  • Such conversion results in the creation of carbohydrate, glucose that may be transformed to other organic compounds like starch, sucrose, cellulose, etc.
  • In this process, more carbon dioxide is generated and discharged through its roots or leaves during the day.
  • The leftover carbohydrates become part of the plant tissue.
  • Plant tissues are eaten by the herbivorous animals.
  • The carbon becomes part of the plant.
  • Plants that perish and are buried will turn into fossil fuels made of carbon like coal and oil over millions of years.
  • Most of the carbon quickly enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide while burning the fossil fuels.
  • Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and traps heat in the atmosphere.
  • Earth would be a frozen world without Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

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