ELSS L16 - Changes in the carbon cycle

  • Created by: Hadley023
  • Created on: 08-11-18 10:40
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  • Changes in the carbon cycle
    • Diurnal
      • During the daytime, CO2 flows from the atmosphere into vegetation.
      • Respiration exceeds p'synth at night, vegetation loses CO2 to the atmosphere.
      • At night = CO2 increases. During the day = CO2 decreases.
        • There is more light during the day to allow for p'synth.
      • These changes can be observed with phytoplankton in the oceans.
    • Seasonal
      • Monthly changes in the Net Primary Productivity.
      • Mid to high latitudes - day length and temps drive seasonal change.
        • There are variations in light and temp through summer to winter.
      • In the winter, there is a net flux of CO2 back into the atmosphere.
      • Algal blooms are a results of the increase in phytoplankton activity between spring and summer.
      • In the tropics, water availability is the main driver.
      • Ocean phytoplankton are stimulated in photosynthetic activity by rising water temps, more intense sunlight and lengthening photoperiod.
    • Long-term
      • Glacial and interglacials. There is marked reduction in CO2 during glacial periods.
      • Tundra will sequester huge amounts of carbon in permafrost.
      • Tundra replaces forests and grassland replaces tropical rainforests.
      • The carbon pool in vegetation shrinks during glacial periods as ice sheets advance and occupy large areas of the continent.
      • Overall slowing of the carbon flux. Smaller amounts of CO2 returned to the atmosphere by decomp.
        • Carbon stored in the soils below the ice will no longer be exchanged within the atmosphere.

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