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Flashcards in Water and Carbon Cycles Deck (315):


Material or energy moving into the system from outside



Material or energy moving from the system to the outside



Power or driving force



The individual elements or components of the system



The movement of matter or energy from one store to another



The limits of the system



The characteristics of the elements



An assembly of interrelated parts that work together by way of some driving force


System- Simple Definition

A set of steps that occur to make something happen


Types of Systems

There are two types of systems:
-Open System
-Closed System


Types of Systems-Open

A system with inputs and outputs to other systems


Types of Systems-Closed

A system with no inputs and outputs. All matter is enclosed within the system


Dynamic Equilibrium-What?

A state of balance between inputs and outputs in a system


What happens when elements change?

It causes feedback


Types of feedback

There are two types of feedback:
-Positive Feedback
-Negative Feedback


Types of feedback- Positive Feedback

A cyclical sequence of events that amplify or increase change


Types of feedback-Negative Feedback

A cyclical sequence of events that damp down or neutralize the effects of the system


Spheres of Earth

The Earth is broken down into 5 spheres


Spheres of Earth- Cyrosphere

The cyrosphere includes all the parts of the Earth where its cold enough for water to freeze


Spheres of Earth- Lithosphere

The lithosphere is the outermost part of the Earth. It includes the crust and the upper part of the mantle


Spheres of Earth- Biosphere

The biosphere is the part of the Earth's system where living things are found. It include all the living parts of the Earth


Spheres of Earth- Hydrosphere

The hydrosphere includes all of the water on Earth. This is all the water in states of matter (Solid, Liquid and Gas)


Spheres of Earth-Atmosphere

The atmosphere is the layer of gas between the Earth's surface and space, held in place by gravity


Spheres of Earth-Matter Movement

Matter can move between the spheres


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Evaporation

Transfer of water from liquid state to gas state. The vast majority occurs from the oceans to the atmosphere


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Condensation

Transfer of water from a gaseous state to a liquid state


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Precipitation

Transfer of water from the atmosphere to the ground, normally as rain


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Drainage Basin

The area from which a river channel receives water


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Interception

Water is intercepted by plant leafs and stored there


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Ground Water

The store of water that is moved by percolation into the lower layers of the soil or bedrock


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Aquifer

A permeable rock which stores and transfers water


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Stem Flow

The flow of water down stems or trunks after interception of rainfall


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Infiltration

Movement of water from the surface to the soil


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Through Flow

The movement of water through a soil to a river channel


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Percolation

Downward movement of water through soil and bedrock


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Overland Flow

Water running over the surface of the land into a river channel or body of water


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Channel Flow

Run off of surface water in a defined channel


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Water Balance/Budget

When the input of water is equal to the output


The Water Cycle-Key Terms- Water Table

The upper boundary of the staturised portion of a soil or rock


Water- Total amount

The hydrosphere contains 1.4 Sextillion litres of water. Less than 3% of that is freshwater


Water-Freshwater Percentages

69% frozen in cyrosphere
30% is groundwater
0.3% is liquid freshwater (we can drink this)
0.04% is stored as water vapour in atmosphere


The Water Cycle- Evaporation of water vappury

The water vapour from the oceans is evaporated and condensed in the atmosphere to create clouds


The Water Cycle- Clouds and Percolation

Moisture is then transported around the globe in clouds, and return to the surface via percolation


The Water Cycle- Water on Ground

When reaching the ground, some water will evaporate back into the atmosphere, while some of it will percolate the ground to form groundwater


The Water Cycle- Surface Water

The water that is not evaporated, percolated, or infiltrated is known as runoff, and is empited into the lakes and rivers, which flow into oceans. The cycle then starts again


How long does water remain in the store?-Soil Water

1-2 months


How long does water remain in the store?-Seasonal Snow Cover

2-6 months


How long does water remain in the store?-Rivers

2-6 months


How long does water remain in the store?- Glaciers

20-100 years


How long does water remain in the store?- Lakes

50-100 years


How long does water remain in the store?- Shallow Groundwater

100-200 years


How long does water remain in the store?-Deep Groundwater

10000 years


Why does soil water has the shortest duration?

The water is absorbed by plant roots, evaporated or flows into rivers as through flow


Changes to water cycle on a local level- Physical Causes

-Heavy Rain leads to more water in stores
-Seasons- Snow and frozen water interrupt transfers- Stores are affected


Changes to water cycle on a local level -Human Causes

-Urbanization- Impermeable surfaces reduce infiltration
-Deforestation-Reduces interception and infiltration- Overland flow increases
- Farming- Ditches drain the land and encourage quick water flow
-Irrigation-Increases water on ground


Changes to water cycle over time- Climate Change

The heating of the Earth has caused the ice caps to melt. This means that water that was once stored as ice is now in liquid form. This leafs to more water in the oceans, which leads to sea levels to rise, affecting the water cycle's stores


Changes to water cycle over space- The Global Circulation Model

This model can be used to explain why some places get rain, and other don't. The amount of rain can affect the water cycle


Cloud Formation

Clouds are formed by warm moist air rising


The Global Circulation Model-Cells

The global circulation model consists for 4 different cells. They are:
-Polar Cell
-Ferrel Cell
-Hadley Cell


The Global Circulation Model-Cells- Polar Cell

In this cell, warm air descends over poles. Cold air rises over poles. This causes no rain, but cold temperature


The Global Circulation Model-Cells - Ferrel Cell

In this cell, warm air rises towards poles. This air meets cold from the polar cell. This causes low pressure, which causes rain to fall, affecting the water cycle


The Global Circulation Model-Cells- Hadley Cell

In this cell, the cold air rises and travels to the poles. This air where there is desserts


The Global Circulation Model-Cells- ITCZ

Stands for Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. In this cell, the warm air rises, cools and condensed to form heavy rain. This is where rainforests are


Seasonal Changes to the water cycle- Soil Water Budget

The soil water budget is a way of explaining how much water there is in the soil


Soil Water Budget- Winter

-Water Surplus as precipitation is more than evapotranspiration
-Ground stores fill with Water- Causes more surface runoff and a higher discharge-River levels rise


Soil Water Budget- Summer

-Evapotranspation exceeds precipitation- Water deficit
-Water that flows into river channel is not replaced by rain


Flows that Influence precipitation - Interception and Stem flow

Precipitation becomes puddles, flow as overland flow or infiltrate the soil. Some water may be taken up by plants and then transpired


Flows that Influence precipitation - Groundwater Flow

Groundwater flow carries on feeding rivers well after the rain has stopped. This means that Rivers continue to flow after a long period


Flows that Influence precipitation-Infiltration

When the soil cannot be infiltrated by the water anymore, it becomes saturated. This leads to overland flow, which adds water to rivers


Flows that Influence precipitation -Soil Type

Sandy soil cannot retain a lot of water, this leads to saturation, which can lead to overland flow. Clay soil retains a lot of water, so the soil might not become saturated


Flows that Influence precipitation- Trees and Vegetation

Trees and vegetation can reduce the amount of precipitation that reaches the river. The water is intercepted, infiltrated or evapotranspirated instead of reaching the river


Water Shed-What?

The watershed is the boundary of the drainage basin. Any precipitation that falls beyond the watershed enters a different drainage basin


Type of system the drainage basin is?

It is a open system as it has inputs and outputs


The Drainage Basin-Inputs



The Drainage Basin-Stores

-Interception-Temporary store as water could evaporate quickly
-Vegetation Storage-Plants
-Surface Storage-Puddles
-Soil Storage
-Groundwater Storage
-Channel Storage-Rivers


The Drainage Basin-Transfers

-Overland Flow
-Groundwater Flow
-Channel Flow



Water dripping from one leaf or plant part to another


Groundwater Flow-What?

The movement of water below the water table through permeable rock



Groundwater flow that feeds into rivers through river banks and river beds



Water flowing downhill through permeable rock above the water table


The Drainage Basin-Outputs

-River Flow



Evaporation within leaves



The process of evaporation and transpiration happening together


The Water Balance-Equation



The Water Balance-What is P?

P is Precipitation


The Water Balance-What is O

O is total runoff (stream flow)


The Water Balance-What is E

E is Evapotranspiration


The Water Balance-What is S

S is Storage in soil and rock


What causes Variation in runoff?

There are many factors that cause variation in runoff rates:
-Soil Water
-Rock Type
-Vegetation Cover
-Rate of Rainfall


What causes Variation in runoff?-Soil Water

If the soil is very saturated, the water will run off. If the soil is not saturated, the water will infiltrate the soil


What causes Variation in runoff?-Rock Type

If the rock is impermeable, run off rates are high as the water cannot enter the rocks


What causes Variation in runoff?-Vegetation Cover

A highly vegetated area will intercept and use the water, so runoff is limited. If the area is not vegetation, runoff rate will increase


What causes Variation in runoff?-Rate of Rainfall

If the rain is intense, it is more likely to pass quickly into rivers, increasing runoff. Drizzle will be held in trees, and the majority of it would be evaporated


The Flood Hydrograph-What?

A graph that shows the discharge of the river following a particular storm event


The Flood Hydrograph-Peak Discharge

The highest point of the graph, where river discharge is at its greatest


The Flood Hydrograph-Lag Time

The delay between peak rainfall and peak discharge


The Flood Hydrograph-Lag Time-Why?

It takes time for rainwater to flow in to the river


The Flood Hydrograph-Lag Time-Short

This can increase peak discharge because more water reaches the river during a shorter period of time


The Flood Hydrograph-Rising Limb

The part of the graph up to the peak discharge. Discharge increases as rainwater flows into the river


The Flood Hydrograph-Falling Limb

The part of the graph after the peak discharge. Discharge decreases as less rainwater is flowing into the river


The Flood Hydrograph-Shallow Falling Limb

This shows water is flowing in from stores long after it's stopped raining


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph

A hydrograph with a short lag time and high peak


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Basin Size

Small basins often lead to rapid water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Drainage Density

High density speeds up water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Rock Type

Impermeable rocks encourage rapid overland flow


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Land Use

Urbanization encourages rapid water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Relief

Steep slopes lead to rapid water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Soil Water

Saturated soil results in rapid overland flow


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-Rainfall Intensity

Heavy rain may exceed the infiltration capacity of vegetation, and lead to rapid overland flow


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph

A hydrograph with a long lag time and low peak


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics- Basin Size

Large basins results in relatively slow water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Drainage Density

Low density leads to a slower transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Rock Type

Permeable rocks encourage a slow transfer by groundwater flow


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Land Use

Forests slow down water transfer because of interception


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Relief

Gentle slopes slow down water transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Soil Water

Dry soil soaks up water and slows down its transfer


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-Rainfall Intensity

Light rain will transfer slowly


The Flood Hydrograph-"Flashy" Hydrograph Characteristics-River Flooding

Flooding is likely


The Flood Hydrograph-Low Hydrograph Characteristics-River Flooding

Less likely to flood


Natural Variations Affecting Change in the Water Cycle

There are three main reasons for natural variations in the water cycle:
-Seasonal Changes
-El Niño/La Niña



Droughts are a period of below average rainfall


Drought effects on the water cycle-Stores

Droughts cause reduction in water stores in rivers and lakes


Drought effects on the water cycle-Vegetation

Vegetation dies back or it is destroyed by fire-it. This affects transpiration, Interception and Infiltration


Drought effects on the water cycle-Groundwater Flow

Groundwater flow becomes more important as it is a long term transfer and is not affected by short term weather extremes


Drought effects on the water cycle-Evapotranspiration

Heat and dry air causes high rates of evapotranspiration. This rate declines as water on the ground dries up, and trees transpire less


Drought effects on the water cycle-Soil Water

As soils dry out, the soil water store is reduced and through flow ceases


Droughts-Case Study-California

California suffered a severe drought between 2012-2016. Rivers and lakes dried up, agriculture productivity declined and fires raged across tinder dry forests and grassland


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Precipitation-Summer

Total rainfall may be less, but storms are more frequent


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Precipitation-Winter

Greater quantities of rainfall with a likelihood of snow


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Vegetation-Summer

Vegetation grows rapidly. This causes more interception and transpiration to occur


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Vegetation-Winter

Vegetation dies back. This reduces inception and transpiration


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Evaporation-Summer

Higher temperatures in summer causes rapid rates of evaporation


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Evaporation-Winter

Low temperatures in winter causes rates of evaporation to reduce


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Soil Water-Summer

Dry soils encourage infiltration. Hard soils encourage overland flow


Seasonal Changes and their effect on Soil Water-Winter

During winter, soils may become saturated. This leads to overland flow


Seasonal Changes and their effect on River Channel Flow-Summer

In the summer, the river has low flow conditions


Seasonal Changes and their effect on River Channel Flow-Winter

In the winter, the river has high flow conditions


El Niño-What?

El Niño is a weather phenomenon caused when warm water from the western Pacific Ocean flows eastward.


El Niño-The Normal Process

Normally, trade winds push warm water from South America across the Pacific Ocean. This causes warm air to rise over countries like Indonesia and Australia, which creates clouds, which causes rainfall. This leads to floods. In South America, there are no clouds formed due to the cold water. This leads to drought conditions in places like Peru


El Niño-The Process

The trade winds weaken, and the warm water is now in South America. This causes flooding in Peru. In Indonesia and Australia, there is no clouds due to cold water, so there are droughts in this area


La Niña-The Process

An intensified version of the normal conditions. This causes stronger rainfall in the East, and stronger droughts in Peru


Human Activities affecting the Water Cycle

There are many human activities that affect the water cycle:
-Land Use Change
-Farming Practices
-Water Abstraction


Land Use Change-Urbanization

The urbanization of an area involves laying tarmac. This means that water cannot infiltrate the soil, which increases overland flow, and flooding risk. This also means that soil water and groundwater is reduced


Land Use Change-Deforestation

Deforestation causes surface runoff and soil erosion. It reduces soil water stores


Farming Practices-Ploughing

Ploughing breaks up the surface so that more water can infiltrate, reducing the amount of runoff


Farming Practices-Crops

Crops increase infiltration and interception,reducing runoff. Evapotranspiration can also increase, increasing rainfall


Farming Practices-Livestock

Livestock trample and compact the soil, leading to a decrease in infiltration and a increase in runoff


Farming Practices-Irrigation

Irrigation can increase runoff if some water cannot infiltrate. Groundwater or river levels can fall if water is extracted for irrigation



Irrigation is artificially watering the land


Water Abstraction-What?

Water abstraction is the extraction of water from rivers and groundwater aquifers


Water Abstraction-Population

More water is abstracted to meet the demands in areas where population density is high. This reduces the amount of water in stores


Water Abstraction-Dry Seasons

During dry seasons, a lot of water is abstracted from stores for consumption and irrigation. This reduces the amount of water in stores


Human Activities affecting the Water Cycle -Case Study-The Middle East-Causes

In parts of the Middle East, water is being abstracted from underground aquifers, which are in serious danger of becoming depleted as the rate of recharge is far slower than the rate of use.


Human Activities affecting the Water Cycle -Case Study-The Middle East-Solution

Netting of plants and crops can be used to reduce evaporation in hot environments, reducing the need for water


Human Activities affecting the Water Cycle -Case Study-Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is a massive inland lake in Kazakhstan. They drained the rivers that feed the Aral Sea with cotton plants, this lead to a reduction in size of the Aral Sea


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Location

The River Exe flows for 82.7km from its source in the hills of Exmoor, to the sea at Exmouth. It has a extensive network of tributaries and a high drainage basin


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Characteristics-Physical

-Area of upper catchment is 601KM squared
-Maximum elevation of 514m in the north
-Land is flatter in the south


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Characteristics-Geology

-84.4% of the catchment area is underlain by impermeable rocks, predominantly sandstone


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Characteristics-Land Use

-67% of the land is agricultural grassland
-15% is woodland
-On the high ground of Exmoor, there are moors and peat bogs


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Water Balance

1295mm of percipitation


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Rainfall

Rainfall is high, particular over Exmoor, Much of it is absorbed by the peaty moorland soils. However, if the soil is saturated if the rain lands where drainage ditches have been dug, water can rapidly flow of the hills


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Runoff

Runoff accounts for 65% of the river Exe's water balance,


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Runoff-Reasons why 65% is runoff

-The impermeable nature of most of the bedrock. This reduces percolation and base flow
-Drainage ditches on Exmoor reduces the amount of soil water storage


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Response to Rainwater

The river Exe responds relative slow to rainfall. After flooding, discharge recedes slowly, reflecting the rural nature of the area


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments and the Water Cycle-Wimbleball Reservoir

The river Haddeo, a tributary of the Exe, was dammed to create the Wimbleball Reservoir. This leads to a reduced amount of water in the River Exe. The flow of water from the reservoir is regulated, preventing peaks and through that make flooding or doughts more likely


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments and the Water Cycle-Peatland Restoration on Exmoor

Drainage ditches have been dug in the peat bogs to make it suitable for farming. This had increased the speed of water flow, which reduces water quantity, as more slit is being carried downstream. Peat has also been dug as fuel, leaving scars in the landscape. As the surface dried out, deposition occurred, releasing carbon and methane into the atmosphere


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments-The Exmoor Mires Project-Aims

The Exmoor Mires Project aims to restore 2000 hectarces of Exmoor to the natural boggy conditions


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments-The Exmoor Mires Project-What they did

They blocked drainage ditches with peat blocks and moorland bales


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments-The Exmoor Mires Project-Benefits-Water Cycle

+More water storage in upper catchment-runoff slowed, storage capacity increased, this ensures steady supply to water
+Improved water quality-Slow through flow leads to less sediment in rivers
+Improved water supply to animals-All year round drinking water


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments-The Exmoor Mires Project-Benefits-Carbon Cycle

+More carbon storage-Less carbon dioxide released
+Dry peats-release carbon via oxidation, re wetting of peats means that carbon dioxide is absorbed


Water Case Study-The River Exe-Recent Developments-The Exmoor Mires Project-Benefits-General

+Provides opportunities for education,leisure and recreation
+Very Bio diverse landscape created



One of the most chemically versatile elements. It forms more compounds than any other element. It is found it all life forms, as well as sedimentary rocks, diamonds, graphite, coal, oil and gas


Carbon in Earth's Spheres-Lithosphere

-Over 99.9% of the carbon on Earth is stores in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone
-About 0.004% of the carbon on Earth is stored in fossil fuels


Carbon in Earth's Spheres-Atmosphere

-Carbon is stored as carbon dioxide and in smaller quantities as methane
-The atmosphere contains about 0.001% of the Earth's carbon


Carbon in Earth's Spheres-Hydrosphere

-Carbon dioxide is dissolved in rivers, lakes and oceans
-Oceans are the second largest carbon store, containing 0.04% of Earth's carbon


Carbon in Earth's Spheres-Biosphere

-Carbon is stored in the tissues of living organisms. It is transferred to the soil when living organisms die and decay
-The biosphere contains approximately 0.004% of Earth's carbon


Carbon in Earth's Spheres-Cyrosphere

-The cyrosphere contains less than 0.01% of Earth's carbon
-Most the the carbon is in the soil areas of permafrost, where decomposing plants and animals have frozen into the ground


The Carbon Cycle-Simple Version

Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release oxygen. They store carbon
Decomposive matter gives off carbon dioxide, which goes into the atmosphere
Life forms eat the plants and respire, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
Combustion of fossil fuels also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere


Carbon Sink-What?

A store that absorbs more carbon than it releases


Carbon Source-What?

A store that releases more carbon than it absorbs


Stores of the Carbon Cycle

There are 6 main stores in the global carbon cycle:
-Marine sediments and sedimentary rocks
-Fossil Fuel Deposits
-Soil Organic Matter
-Terrestrial Plants


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Marine sediments and sedimentary rocks-What?

The largest store of carbon. It is a long term store, with rocks taking millions of years to form


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Marine sediments and sedimentary rocks-Amount of Carbon

100,000 billion metric tones of carbon is in this store


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Oceans-What?

Carbon dioxide is absorbed directly from the air and river water discharges carbon carried in solution. Since the industrial revolution, the oceans have absorbed more carbon dioxide from the air, due to increased carbon emissions


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Oceans-Amount of Carbon

38,000 billion metric tones of carbon is in this store


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Fossil Fuel Deposits-What?

Hydrocarbons such as coal, oil and gas are important long term stores of carbon. These resources have been exploited for heat and power. The combustion of these has pumped huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing climate change


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Fossil Fuel Deposits-Amount of Carbon

4000 billion metric tones of carbon is in this store


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Soil Organic Matter-What?

Soils containing rotting organic matter and are important carbon store. Carbon can remain in soils for hundreds of years. Deforestation, land use change and soil erosion can, however, release the stored carbon very rapidly


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Soil Organic Matter-Amount of Carbon

1500 billion metric tones of carbon is in this store


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Atmosphere-What?

Carbon is held in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. In recent decades, the amount of carbon dioxide has increased due to emissions from power stations, vechicles and deforestation. This has lead to the enhanced greenhouse effect and climate change


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Atmosphere-Amount of Carbon

750 billion metric tones of carbon is in this store


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Terrestrial Plants-What?

Plants are vital for all life on Earth. They convert energy from the sun into carbohydrates that support life. Plants can store carbon for many years and transfer it to the soil. However, through deforestation, this carbon can be released back into the atmosphere very rapidly


Stores of the Carbon Cycle-Terrestrial Plants-Amount of Carbon

650 billion tones of carbon is in this store


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle

There are many ways that carbon is transferred in the carbon cycle:
-Burial and Compaction
-Carbon Sequestion



The process whereby plants use the light energy from the sun to produce carbohydrates in the form of glucose


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Photosynthesis-Which Stores?

Photosynthesis transfers carbon stored in the atmosphere to biomass (plants)


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Photosynthesis-Process

Plants and phytoplankton use energy from the sun to change carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. This allows them to grow. Carbon is then passed through the food chain by respiration and decomposition



A chemical process that happens in all cells, converting glucose into energy


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Respiration-Which Stores?

Respiration transfers carbon from living organisms to the atmosphere


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Respiration-Process

Plants and animals break down glucose for energy, releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere



The process where carbon from the bodies of dead organisms are returned to the air as carbon dioxide


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Decomposition-Which Stores?

Decomposition transfers carbon from dead biomass to the atmosphere and the soil


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Decomposition-Process

After death, bacteria and fungi break organisms down, which releases carbon dioxide and methane, Some carbon is transferred to the soil in the form of humus



The process where carbon is burned in the presence of oxygen and converted to energy, carbon dioxide and water


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle- Combustion -Which Stores?

Combustion transfers ccarbon stored in fossil f fuels and biomass to the atmosphere via burning


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-combustion -Process

The burning of fossil fuels or biomass releases carbon dioxide,which goes straight into the atmosphere


Burial and Compaction -What?

When organic matter becomes buried and is then compressed by the overlaying sediment


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-Burial and Compaction -Which Stores?

Burial and Compaction transfers carbon from the ocean to fossil fuels. It can also be used by lifeforms,who convert convert it into calcium carbonate


Carbon Sequestration -What?

Carbon Sequestration is a umbrella term used to describe the long term storage of carbon in plants,soils,rock formation and oceans


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-carbon sequestration-Which Stores?

Carbon Sequestration transfers carbon from the atmosphere to rocks,plants,soils and oceans


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-carbon sequestration -Process

Atmospheric carbon can be stored in rocks or as fossil fuels. These can be released if we burn them


Weathering -What?

The breakdown of rocks by chemicals. This involves the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-weathering -Which Stores ?

Weathering transfers carbon from the atmosphere to rocks via rainwater


Transfers of the Carbon Cycle-weathering -Process

Atmospheric carbon reacts with water vapour to form acid rain. When this rain falls onto rocks, it dissolves ot. This reaction leads to the creation of calcium carbonate, which sea creatures can make shells from


Slow Carbon Cycle - What?

The carbon system that takes between 100-200 years to transfer the carbon to another store


Fast Carbon Cycle-What?

The carbon system that takes a lifetime for the carbon to be transferred to another store. For example:the process of respiration


Natural causes of change to the carbon cycle -Climate Change

The changing climate can alter the stores of the carbon cycle and their magnitude


Effects of Cold Weather on the Carbon Cycle -Weathering

Chemical weathering processes would be more active as cold water holds more carbon dioxide


Effects of Cold Weather on the Carbon Cycle -forest areas

Forest areas would be very different in both in total area and in location. This will effect photosynthesis and respiration


Effects of Cold Weather on the Carbon Cycle -Decomposers

Decomposers would be less effective,so carbon transfers to soils would be reduced


Effects of Cold Weather on the Carbon Cycle -Water

Less water in oceans,as it would be locked up in snow. Less sediment transfer in rivers,and less sediment build up on the ocean floor


Effects of Cold Weather on the Carbon Cycle -soils

The soil would be frozen,which would stop transfers of carbon


Effects of Warm Weather on the Carbon Cycle -Permafrost

The permafrost melts. This releases carbon and methane into the atmosphere, which leads to the enhanced greenhouse effect


Effects of Volanic eruptions on the Carbon cycle

Eruptions add carbon to the atmosphere. Lava contains slicates,which slowly weathers. This converts carbon dioxide from the air to carbonate in solution, which absorbs very slowly to the atmosphere


Human effects on the Carbon Cycle

There are many man made causes that create a change in the carbon cycle
-Fossil fuel combustion


Human effects on the Carbon Cycle-Fossil Fuel Combustion

Fossil fuels contains carbon that has been locked away for many years. When these are burned, water and Carbon dioxide is relaxed into the atmosphere, which increases the effects of global war


Human effects on the Carbon Cycle-Farming

-Ploughing,harvesting,reading livestock and using machinery fuelled by fossil fuels all release carbon into the atmosphere
-Livestock release methane, which has the same effects on the atmosphere as carbon does
-Rice cultivation has caused a 40% increase in methane emissions, this figure is likely to increases as rice is such a vital foodsource to


Human effects on the Carbon Cycle- Deforestation

- Trees are a carbon sink
-If they are deforested, carbon levels in the atmosphere increases, as the burning of trees produce carbon, and as the trees are not there, they cannot absorb the carbon, so it remains in the atmosphere


Human effects on the Carbon Cycle-Urbanisation

-Trees are deforested
-More combustion of fossil fuels
-Cement production releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a byproduct
-This is a very local scale effect


Carbon Budget -What?

The Carbon Budget uses data to describe the amount of carbon which is stored and transferred within the carbon cycle


Amount of Carbon in the Atmosphere

There is 750 Pentagrams of carbon in the atmosphere


Amount of Carbon in the Plants

There is 560 Pentagrams of carbon stored in plants


Amount of Carbon in the soils

There is 1500 Pentagrams of carbon stored in soil


Amount of Carbon in the fossil fuel

There is 4000 Pentagrams of carbon stored in Fossil fuels


Amount of Carbon in the Oceans

There is 38,000 Pentagrams of carbon stored in the oceans


Amount of Carbon in the Earth's Crust

There is 100,000,000 Pentagrams of carbon stored in the Earths Crust


Pentagrams -What?

A pentagram is 100,000,000,000,000 grams


What transfers the greatest amount of carbon a year?

Photosynthesis transfers 120Pentagrams a year


Human Transfers in the Carbon Cycle

-Burning Fossil fuels


Physical Transfers in the Carbon Cycle

-Volcanic Eruptions
-Soil Respiration
-Ocean Intake
-Ocean Loss
-Burial to Sediment
-Litter Fall


Impacts of the Carbon Cycle -Land

-Responsible for the formation and development of soil. Litterfall introduces important nutrients to the soil
-carbon in the form of organic matter is essential for plant growth and the production of food
-Carbon in grass provides fodder for animals
-Provides importance source of energy in the form of wood and fossil fuels


Impacts of the Carbon Cycle -Oceans

-Carbon can be converted into calcium carbonate to build shell's for marine life
-Can impact phytoplankton who consume carbon dioxide during photosynesis. They are an important food source for a lot of marine life


Impacts of the Carbon Cycle -Atmosphere

-Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere helps to warm the Earth, through the greenhouse effect. Without this, there would be no life on Earth
-Increases to carbon emissions has lead to the enhanced greenhouse effect, which has an effect on Earth's climate
-Carbon stored by vegetation has a significant effect on the atmosphere, weather they are a carbon source or a carbon sink


Natural Greenhouse Effect-What?

The sunlight hits the Earth and is reflected by the planet. Some of it is trapped in the atmosphere, keeping the planet warm, but the majority of it goes back out to space


Enhanced Greenhouse Effect-What?

The sunlight hits the Earth and is reflected by the planet. More carbon means that the atmosphere is ticker, so more sunlight is trapped to keep the planet warm. This warms up the Earth by 2 degrees


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Precipitation Levels

Patterns of precipitation will change. Wet areas will become wetter, dry areas will become dryer. This will lead to flooding in some areas, droughts in the other, which can both have massive effects on the local population


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Extreme Weather Events

Extreme weather events are expected to get more frequent. L.I.C's will be affected more as they are not developed enough to be able to cope with the impacts of them, causing destruction to the country, which prevents it to develop


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Agricultural Productivity

Agricultural productivity will decrease in some areas, which could lead to food shortages. This could lead to deaths or civil unrest


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Sea Levels

Sea levels are expected to rise. This will cause coastal flooding and destruction of low lying areas


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Animals

Some species will not be able to cope in the new climate, and so will be at risk of being extinct. Any animals will lose their habitats due to the rising sea level


Impacts of a Changing Carbon Budget-Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton numbers may decline if temperatures increase, which will have knock on effects on marine food chains


Responses to a Changing Carbon Budget

There are two main ways to respond to the changing carbon budget, AKA Climate Change



To anticipate and diminish the effects of something, in this case, climate change


Adaptation Strategies-Education

By educating people to reduce the amount of carbon they produce, they are more likely to do this. However, this response can be short term


Adaptation Strategies-Changes in Agricultural System

-Moving production to another location
-Increasing irrigation in areas
-Changing the type of crop grown at that time of year


Adaptation Strategies-Changes in Agricultural System Case Study-Potato Park, Peru

-12000 hectare reserve, used to preserve potato diversity
-20 to 80 varieties of potato grown
-As the temperature increases, they change the altitude in which the potato is grown at


Adaptation Strategies-Water Supply

-Reducing water demand
-Increase supply


Adaptation Strategies-Sea levels

-Build barriers in urban areas to prevent flood damage


Adaptation Strategies-Case Study-London

-London homes are offered a free retrofit package of water
-Reverse osmosis of water from the River Thames increases the supply, but needs to be Desalinated
-The Thames Barrier was built


Adaptation Strategies-Changing House Design

-Houses on slits-Prevent flood damage
-"Green Houses"-E.G: BEDZED
-Urban Gardens
-White coloured buildings-They absorb heat



Action taken to reduce or eliminate the long term risk to human life and property from natural hazards, such as making international agreements about carbon reduction targets


Mitigation Techniques-Industry

-More environmentally friendly factories/power plants
-Develop recyclable nuclear energy types
-Energy efficient buildings
-Carbon Capture
-Use of electric vehicles
-Retrofitting Buildings
-Carbon capture and storage


Mitigation Techniques-Land Use



Mitigation Techniques-International Agreements

-Technological Leap Frogging-Some countries go straight from biomass to renewable energy sources, skipping the use of fossil fuels
-International Agreements such as the Paris Agreement or groups such as the I.P.C.C (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)


Mitigation Technique-Carbon Capture and Storage-Description

Uses technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions. The gas is them transported to a site where it is stored and prevented from entering the atmosphere. The carbon gas is compressed. It is then injected as a liquid into a suitable geographic reservoir


Mitigation Technique-Carbon Capture and Storage-Examples

-The Mumorah Plant in New South Wales
-Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan, Canada is the world first commercial carbon capture coal fired power plant


Mitigation Techniques -Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis can cause a reduction in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere


Mitigation Techniques -Photosynthesiss -Case Study-Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the first country to protect its mangrove forests. This project will cost £2.2 million over 5 years,and protect over 21000 acres of mangrove forests


Mitigation Techniques -Reducing Deforestation -Techniques

-Consumers are encouraged to buy wood from sustainability grown timber
-Countries,Organisations and individuals make payments to offset their carbon emissions


Mitigation Techniques -Reducing Deforestation -Case Study - Malaysia

In Malaysia, the selective management system is a sustainable approach to logging by felling selected trees and planting replacements


Mitigation Techniques -Reducing Deforestation -Case Study -Brazil

-Landowners are required to preserve 80% of virgin rainforest
-If they don't,they are fined
-Grants for building in deforested areas are banned
-Farmers are encouraged to be more productive with the land they use
-The government has created reserves in the Amazon


International Agreements -The Paris Agreement

The Paris Argreement is the first universally legal global climate deal due to be enforced in 2020


International Agreements -The Paris Agreement-Aims

-To limit the average global temperature to 1.5°C above pre industrial levels
-Report to each other and the public the implications of the plans to reduce emissions
-Strengthen the ability to adapt and be resilient in dealing with climate change
-Provide adaptation support for developing countries
-Developed nations will support the initiatives of developing nations


Importance of Water in supporting life

-Source of Power
-Source of Protein


Importance of Carbon in Supporting life

-Makes up 18% of the body, stored as glucose
-50% of biomass
-Needed for breathing,growing and reproduction
-One of the 6 crucial elements
-Needed for plant growth -Photosynthesis
-Builts up in atmosphere, it allows life to be on this planet as it absorbs radiation from the Sun


The Relationship between Water and Carbon in the Atmosphere-Carbon in Oceans

Carbon is released and absorbed in the ocean. The water then evaporates and condenses to form clouds


The Relationship between Water and Carbon in the Atmosphere-Human causes emissions

Carbon dioxide is released from deforestation, industry, fossil fuel combustion etc. As well as from volcanic eruptions


The Relationship between Water and Carbon in the Atmosphere-Rain Water

Carbon dioxide is dissolved in rain water to become Carbonic Acid, also known as Acid Rain


The Relationship between Water and Carbon in the Atmosphere-Carbonation

Acid rain causes the carbonation weathering of limestone


The Relationship between Water and Carbon in the Atmosphere-Carbon in Water

Carbon then flows into the river, then forms coral. When the coral dies, it forms a sediment in the oceans. This dissolves when the carbon is released from the ocean


Water Cycle Feedback Loop-Also Known As

The Albedo Effect


The Albedo Effect-What?

The reflection of the sun's radiation by ice


The Albedo Effect-Less Ice in sea

The melting ice means that less if the sun's radiation is being reflected. This causes temperatures to rise, meaning more Ice melts


The Albedo Effect-More Ice in sea

If there is more ice in the sea, more of the sun's radiation is being reflected. This causes temperatures to decrease, meaning more ice forms


Human Impacts on Ice Melting

-More trade in Arctic
-Development of settlements in the Arctic
-Resources of the Arctic are exploited


Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Vegetation

The increase in temperature in the Arctic leads to vegetation growth


Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Active Layer

The increase in vegetation causes the active layer to increase, meaning there is less permafrost


Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Permafrost decays

The organic matter thaws and decays, releasing large amount of carbon in methane into the atmosphere


Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Effect of Permafrost Decay

Temperatures increase, resulting in more vegetation grown in the arctic


Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Marine Phytoplankton releases chemical

Marine Phytoplankton release a chemical called Dimethysulphide (DMS)


Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Effect of DMS

DMS reaction with cloud condensation nuclei to form clouds


Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-More Sunlight

More sunlight could lead to more productivity in Marine Phytoplankton, causing more DMS to be released, causing more clouds


Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-Less Sunlight

The increased cloud cover means that there is less sunlight, meaning less DMS is released, meaning less clouds and more sunlight


Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop-What type of Feedback?

The Water Cycle/Carbon Cycle Feedback Loop is an example of negative feedback


Case Study-Tropical Rainforest-What?

A tropical rainforest is a biome with a constant temperature and a high rainfall. The level of humidity and density of the vegetation gives the ecosystem a unique water and nutrience cycle


Why does the Tropical Rainforest have its climate?

Tropical rainforests are located in the ITCZ. Air pressure is low, evapotranspiration occurs in large amounts, causing lots of rain. This gives the rainforest rich vegetation, the main carbon store


Net Primary Productivity-What?

The amount of energy made available by plants to animals only at the herbivore level and is expressed as KG/Metres Squared/Year


The Rainforest's Net Primary Productivity

2500 KG/Metre Squared/Year


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Elements

There are three elements to this cycle:


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Elements-Biomass

-Large Carbon store
-4 Different Rainforest Layers
-Transfers Carbon to Litter store by falling leaves


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Elements-Litter

-Leaves on the ground
-Small Carbon Store-Due to small amount of leaves on ground
-Transfers Carbon to Soil store by decomposing leaves


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Elements-Soil

-Carbon is transferred rapidly due to the climate
-Small Carbon Store


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Process

-Trees shed leaves all year round
-Decaying vegetation decomposes rapidly
-Nutrience enters the soil
-Shallow roots take up nutrience
-Trees grow rapidly
-Trees shed leaves all year round


The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle-Impact on Carbon

-The Tropical Rainforest's Nutrient Cycle is part of the Fast Carbon Cycle
-Its a carbon sink
-The carbon is stored in the biosphere, not the atmosphere, this limited the effects of climate change


The Tropical Rainforest's Water Cycle-Process

-Heavy daily convectional rain
-Trees intercept rain
-Some rain reaches the ground
-Trees take up the water
-Water Evaporates
-Heavy daily convectional rain


The Tropical Rainforest's Water Cycle-Impact on Water

-Some water evaporates when intercepted
-Water is infiltrated into soil, which is either taken up by the plants, or becomes groundwater if the soil is saturated, resulting in overland flow into the rivers
-Evapotranspiration occurs-This causes clouds, which creates rain
-Water allows photosynesis-Allows more plants to grow
-Trees control flooding


Changes to the Tropical Rainforest-Cause

The main cause of change in the rainforest is deforestation, which removes the trees and vegetation of the rainforest


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Water Cycle-Evapotranspiration

No trees causes no evapotranspiration, meaning water is not recycled


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Water Cycle-Soils

Soil becomes compacted which leads to saturation of soil. This leads to increase runoff, which makes more water runoff into the river


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Water Cycle-Photosynesis

As there is no plants, the water cannot be taken up by the plants. This causes disruption to transpiration and photosynesis


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Water Cycle-Roots

With no trees, the routes cannot absorb the water. This increases runoff and erosion rate.


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Water Cycle-No Trees

With no trees to stop it, rainwater moves quickly over the surface. It increases the risk of flooding


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Carbon Cycle-Photosynesis

As there are less trees, less carbon is absorbed by photosynesis. This causes less carbon to be stored as biomass, which disrupts the ecosystem


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Carbon Cycle-Carbon Source

The rainforest becomes a carbon source, rather than a carbon sink. This affects the atmosphere, increases the effects of global warming and climate change


Impacts of Deforestation in the Tropical Rainforest on the Carbon Cycle-Deforestation

The burning of trees adds carbon to the atmosphere. This affects the atmosphere, increases the effects of global warming and climate change