The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security Key Words (from Hodder Education revision guide)

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THE CARBON CYCLE
The cycle that moves carbon from one Earth sphere (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere) to another. It is a closed system made up of interlinked subsystems which are open (have inputs and outputs)
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ATMOSPHERE
The air - carbon exists as CO2 and carbon compounds e.g. methane
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HYDROSPHERE
Water - carbon exists as dissolved CO2
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LITHOSPHERE
Earth's crust 0 carbon exists in limestone, chalk, fossil fuels etc.
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BIOSPHERE
Living things - carbon exists as carbon atoms in living and dead organisms
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CARBON STORES
Function as sources (adding carbon to the atmosphere) and sinks (removing carbon from the atmosphere) e.g. sedimentary rocks or plants
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CARBON FLUXES (aka flows and processes)
Movements of carbon from one store to another, provide the motion in the carbon cycle
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CHEMICAL WEATHERING
The decomposition of rock minerals in their original position by agents such as water, oxygen or CO2
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OUTGASSING
The release of gas previously dissolved, trapped, frozen or absorbed in some material e.g. from earthquakes or volcanoes
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CARBON SEQUESTRATION
The process by which CO2 is removed form the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form. Facilitates the capture and storage of carbon
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CARBON PUMPS
The processes operating in the oceans that circulate and store carbon (physical, biological and carbonate)
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PHYSCIAL PUMP
Currents moving carbon in the ocean
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BIOLOGICAL PUMP
Photosynthesis from phytoplankton - most is recycled near the surface
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CARBONATE PUMP
Form sediments form dead organisms that fall to the ocean floor
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PHYTOPLANKTON
The microscopic plant-like organisms in the sea or freshwater - absorb CO2 for photosynthesis
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THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION
The global system of surface and deep ocean current driven by temperature and salinity difference between different parts of the oceans
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GREENHOUSE GASES (GHGS)
Primarily water vapour, CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. These gases both absorb and emit solar radiant to create the greenhouse effect that determines global temerpatures
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GREENHOUSE EFFECT
GHGs and cloud prevent some radiation form the sun from returning to space, instead re-radiating it back to Earth;s surface. This trapped radiation warms the Earth
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NET PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY (NPP)
The amount of organic matter that is available for humans and other animals to consume
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ENERGY SECURITY
Achieved when there is an uninterrupted source of energy at a national level and at an affordable price
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ENERGY MIX
The combination of different energy sources available to meet a country's total energy demand
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PRIMARY ENERGY
Any form of energy found in nature that has not been converted e.g. water or coal
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SECONDARY ENERGY
The more convenient forms of energy - converted primary energy e.g. electricity
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ENERGY PATHWAY
The route taken by any form of energy from its source to its point of consumption e.g. pipelines, tanker ships or electricity transmission grids
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PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS
The most widely used method for generation electric power using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into electric current
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BIOMASS
Organic matter used as fuel
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BIOFUEL
Derived directly from organic matter (e.g. crops) and various forms of commercial and domestic waste
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PRIMARY BIOFUELS
Unprocessed e.g. fuelwood, wood chips or plants - used primarily for heating, cooking and electricity generation
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SECONDARY BIOFUELS
Derived from the processing of biomass e.g. liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel - used in motor vehicles and some industrial processes
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OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
A decrease in pH of the oceans caused by uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere
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CARBON SINK
Any natural environment (e.g. forest or ocean) that can absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere than it releases. This can then become a carbon store
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The air - carbon exists as CO2 and carbon compounds e.g. methane

Back

ATMOSPHERE

Card 3

Front

Water - carbon exists as dissolved CO2

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Earth's crust 0 carbon exists in limestone, chalk, fossil fuels etc.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Living things - carbon exists as carbon atoms in living and dead organisms

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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