6.3B Specific Exam Focus

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  • Specific Exam Focus: 6.3B: Balanced Carbon Cycle
    • Photosynthesis regulating the atmosphere
      • Phytoplankton
        • Sequests CO2 in ocean through photoynthesis
          • This puts it out of the atmosphere and into ocean store
            • This transfers 5-15 Gt of carbon from atmosphere to ocean each year
      • Terrestrial photosynthesis
        • Plants sequester 100-120Gt of CO2 a year
        • It is returned to the atmosphere via respiration/decomposition
      • Different ecosystems absorbing CO2 from photosynthesis
        • Tropical rainforests and coral reefs absorb the most from photosynthesis.
        • Any impact on amount of phytoplankton, or land covered by forest will impact level of carbon sequestration
          • This will impact composition of the atmosphere
    • Soil and carbon
      • Carbon is vital in soils
        • 1. Gives it its water retention capacity, structure, and fertility          2. Supports micro-organisms which maintain nutrient cycle, breakdown of organic matter             3. Provides pore spaces for infiltration/water storage
          • W/O carbon in soil, the nutrient and water cycle cannot function
      • What does healthy soil look like?
        • Dark, crumbly, porous
        • Contains worms and other organisms
        • Provides air, water, and nutrients for micro-organisms + plants to thrive
        • Contain more carbon + organic matter. They also sequester carbon
      • Ecosystem productivity
        • Definition: the rate of generation of biomass in an ecosystem
        • More carbon in soils=healthier soils=more biomass (plants) produced


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