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Flashcards in The Carbon Cycle Pt. 2 Deck (17)
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How much carbon are humans currently adding to the atmosphere each year?

9 gigatons per year


How much of human carbon emissions are bing absorbed by plants?

3 gigatons


What flow releases soil carbon into the atmosphere?

microbial respiration and atmosphere


Ho much of human carbon emissions are being absorbed by the ocean?

2 gigatons


Milankovitch Cycles

the shifts in the earths spin, tilt and orbit around the sun due to gravitational effects of the moon, sun, jupiter and saturn. The cycles increase/decrease the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth. Linked to glacial/interglacial periods.


What percent of solar radiation does ice reflect?



What percent of solar radiation does ocean/soil absorb?



what happens to albedo when the planet moves back towards the sun and solar radiation increases?

As solar radiation increases, snow and ice melt. As snow and ice melt, more land and sea is exposed which is less reflective than ice and snow. Therefore the land and ocean absorb more energy causes the atmosphere to warm, which increases the snow and ice melt. This is a positive (reinforcing feedback)


how are temperature anomalies related to albedo in the arctic?

This is because of the change in albedo, so it warming faster in the arctic because of the melting ice.



A potent greenhouse gas. found in natural gas, cattle rumen, wetlands, wastewater treatment plants. can also be trapped in frozen arctic soils and marine sediments.


describe a positive feedback of a warming arctic and methane release.

global temps rise, methane is released from permafrost. methane in atmosphere bumps into carbon and creates kinetic energy (heat) and causes more permafrost to melt, so more methane gets released.


During a glacial period would the stock of carbon be higher or lower than an interglacial period?

higher. cold water has capacity to store more gas than warm water.


impact of oceans absorbing more carbon dioxide

carbon dioxide dissolves in water and forms carbonic acid, so oceans become more acidic. higher pH means fewer carbonate ions are available- impacts organisms ability to form shells, coral and some plankton species


Greenhouse Gasses

Methane, Carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide


gh gas effect

sunlight enters atmosphere, some of it hits the planet, depending on albedo it will be reflected back or absorbed. it gets re-radiated and will hit gh gas molecules in atmosphere that will then bounce around and create kinetic energy(heat)


CO2 trends

we see wiggles within a year because of seasons but the overall trend is increasing b/c human induced change aka burning fossil fuels


where are the most drastic changes in temp occurring

the arctic bc ice is melting and changing the albedo