carbon cycle - major processes

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  • Carbon cycle  - major processes
    • Photosynthesis
      • 1). captures light energy using pigments e.g. chlorophyll.
      • coverts low-energy substances e.g. CO2 and H2O into high-energy carbohydrate that can be stored for later use. (Oxygen is a by-product)
    • Respiration
      • 1). releases energy from high-energy substances e.g. carbohydrate used to drive metabolic processes
      • 2). aerobic respiration breaks down organic compounds more fully to CO2 and release much  more energy than anaerobic respiration
      • 3). Anaerobic respiration allows some organisms to survive and use food sources in oxygen-deficient environments, releasing methane
    • Food chains
      • pass organic compounds as food between organisms
    • Fossilisation
      • 1). involves incomplete decomposition of  organisms, often under anaerobic conditions, and can lead to deposition of fossil fuels
      • 2). some marine organisms absorb CO2 and store it in their skeletons, which are later laid as sediments of limestone and chalk on seabed
    • Volcanoes
      • release CO2 from fossil fuels or carbonate rocks in ground
    • Combustion
      • wood or fossil fuels releases CO2 into atmosphere
  • pass organic compounds as food between organisms


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