The carbon cycle involves the movement of carbon between the atmosphere, the biosphere, the oceans and the geosphere. Since the Industrial Revolution approximately 150 years ago, carbon Cycle is greatly Interrupted by human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation have begun to have an effect on the carbon cycle and the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Human activities affect the carbon cycle through carbon dioxide emissions (sources) and the removal of carbon dioxide (sinks). The carbon cycle can be affected when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere or removed from the atmosphere.
When oil or coal is burned, carbon is released into the atmosphere at a faster rate than it is removed. As a result, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. Natural gas, oil, and coal are fossil fuels that are commonly burned to generate electricity in power plants, transportation, homes, and other industrial complexes. The main industrial activities that emit carbon dioxide and affect the carbon cycle are oil refining, paper, food and mineral production, mining and the production of chemical products.
When plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it, the process is called carbon sequestration. Agricultural and forestry methods can affect the amount of carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere and stored by plants. These carbon dioxide sinks can be farms, grasslands, or forests. Human activity in the management of farmland or forests affects the amount of carbon dioxide that plants and trees remove from the atmosphere. These carbon dioxide sinks affect the carbon cycle by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees from forests. Permanent removal of trees means that new trees will not be replanted. This large-scale removal of trees from forests by people results in increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because trees no longer absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. As a result, the carbon cycle is affected. According to National Geographic, agriculture is the main cause of deforestation. Farmers remove trees on a large scale to increase acreage and livestock.
Human activity can affect the carbon cycle by capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground rather than allowing it to be released into the atmosphere. This process is called geological hijacking. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency. In the USA, geological sequestration could retain large amounts of carbon dioxide for long periods of time and, consequently, reduce soil carbon dioxide concentrations.
Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not good for the planet or other living creatures. If humanity cannot reduce its CO2 production, the planet faces an uncertain future.
The main threat from increased CO2 is the greenhouse effect. As a greenhouse gas, excess CO2 creates a covering that traps the sun’s thermal energy in the atmospheric bubble, heating the planet and the oceans. An increase in CO2 wreaks havoc on Earth’s climates by causing changes in weather patterns.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that absorbs solar heat into the atmosphere. Therefore, higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to a warmer climate. Global warming threatens ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide.
According to the EPA, humans release 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Because each CO2 molecule can last up to 200 years, this carbon overload can have long-term consequences.
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