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The carbon cycle is the way carbon is stored and replaced on Earth.

Some of the main events take hundreds of millions of years, others happen annually. The main ways that carbon gets into the carbon cycle are volcanoes, and the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas. Through most of history, volcanoes were the biggest source of carbon to the carbon cycle, but in the last hundred years, people burning fossil fuels have added much more CO2 to the air than volcanoes have, by about a hundred times. That is, for every ton of CO 2 added to the air by volcanoes, about 100 tons of CO2 have been added to the air by people. The main way carbon gets taken out of the atmosphere is by photosynthesis by living organisms. Some of this gets released as they die and decompose, but a proportion gets buried in sediment. This is shown in the diagram. Sediment turns to rock, and it is the carbonate rocks like limestone which contain the nowsolid CO2. Some of the carbon from plants also becomes part of the soil, where it can stay for a long time before decomposing. Another process takes CO2 out of the air. Weathering by rain washes out CO2 in the form of dilute carbonic acid. This reacts with rock, helping to dissolve and destroy it. This also ends up as sediment. "Weathering is a large consumer of the atmospheric carbon dioxide essential for dissolving rocks".

Some CO2 is also dissolved in the ocean. Right now, the oceans are taking in more CO 2 than they are releasing, every year. However, this is making the oceans more acidic. The store of carbon in sedimentary rock is far greater than the CO2 in the atmosphere (this is not shown in the diagram). Eventually it returns to the air as oceanic plates subduct in plate tectonics. At the margins of plate boundaries (and some other places) volcanoes form and spew out CO 2. This completes the cycle.

The Carbon Cycle is a process where carbon is recycled through the ecosystem. The concentration of carbon in living matter (18%) is almost 100 times greater than its concentration in the earth (0.19%). So living things extract carbon from their nonliving environment. For life to [2] continue, this carbon must be recycled. See the diagram for a detailed look at the carbon cycle. An example of a route carbon takes in this cycle is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by plants and used in photosynthesis to produce sugars which the plant uses for energy. When the plant dies, it decomposes and the carbon stored in the plant will, over millions of years, form into coal (a fossil fuel). The coal is burnt and gives off carbon dioxide which goes into the atmosphere. Also the carbon cycle has to relate to quantum mechanics due to the restoration of water At the moment, the carbon cycle, and how human activity is affecting it, is a big topic in international news. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource which means that once we've burned them all, there [3] is not any more, and our use of fossil fuels has nearly doubled every 20 years since 1900. Also, the burning of fossil fuels produces pollution which contributes to the greenhouse effect and acid rain.

The sulfur cycle is the collection of processes by which sulfur moves to and from minerals (including the waterways) and living systems. Such biogeochemical cycles are important in geology because they affect many minerals. Biogeochemical cycles are also important for life because sulfur is an essential element, [1] being a constituent of many proteins and cofactors.

Steps of the sulfur cycle are: Mineralization of organic sulfur into inorganic forms, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), elemental sulfur, as well as sulfide minerals.

Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide, sulfide, and elemental sulfur (S) to sulfate (SO4 ). Reduction of sulfate to sulfide. Incorporation of sulfide into organic compounds (including metal-containing derivatives).

These are often termed as follows: Assimilative sulfate reduction (see also sulfur assimilation) in which sulfate (SO4 ) is reduced by plants, fungi and variousprokaryotes. The oxidation states of sulfur are +6 in sulfate and 2 in RSH. Desulfurization in which organic molecules containing sulfur can be desulfurized, producing hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S, oxidation state = 2). An analogous process for organic nitrogen compounds is deamination. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produces elemental sulfur (S8), oxidation state = 0. This reaction occurs in the photosyntheticgreen and purple sulfur bacteria and some chemolithotrophs. Often the elemental sulfur is stored as polysulfides. Oxidation of elemental sulfur by sulfur oxidizers produces sulfate. Dissimilative sulfur reduction in which elemental sulfur can be reduced to hydrogen sulfide. Dissimilative sulfate reduction in which sulfate reducers generate hydrogen sulfide from sulfate.

Sulfur cycle
Part IV of "Matter cycles": The sulfur cycle
Sulphur is one of the components that make up proteins and vitamins. Proteins consist of amino acids that contain sulphur atoms. Sulphur is important for the functioning of proteins and enzymes in plants, and in animals that depend upon plants for sulphur. Plants absorb sulphur when it is dissolved in water. Animals consume these plants, so that they take up enough sulphur to maintain their health. Most of the earth's sulphur is tied up in rocks and salts or buried deep in the ocean in oceanic sediments. Sulphur can also be found in the atmosphere. It enters the atmosphere through both natural and human sources. Natural recourses can be for instance volcanic eruptions, bacterial processes, evaporation from water, or decaying organisms. When sulphur enters the atmosphere through human activity, this is mainly a consequence of industrial processes where sulphur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gases are emitted on a wide scale. When sulphur dioxide enters the atmosphere it will react with oxygen to produce sulphur trioxide gas (SO3), or with other chemicals in the atmosphere, to produce sulphur salts. Sulphur dioxide may also react with water to produce sulphuric acid (H2SO4). Sulphuric acid may also be produced from demethylsulphide, which is emitted to the atmosphere by plankton species. All these particles will settle back onto earth, or react with rain and fall back onto earth as acid deposition. The particles will than be absorbed by plants again and are released back into the atmosphere, so that the sulphur cycle will start over again.

A schematic representation of the sulphur cycle:

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Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus enters the environment from rocks or deposits laid down on the earth many years ago. The phosphate rock is commercially available form is called apatite. Other deposits may be from fossilized bone or bird droppings called guano. Weathering and erosion of rocks gradually releases phosphorus as phosphate ions which are soluble in water. Land plants need phosphate as a fertilizer or nutrient. Phosphate is incorporated into many molecules essential for life such as ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is important in the storage and use of energy. It is also in the backbone of DNA and RNA which is involved with coding for genetics. When plant materials and waste products decay through bacterial action, the phosphate is released and returned to the environment for reuse. Much of the phosphate eventually is washed into the water from erosion and leaching. Again water plants and algae utilize the phosphate as a nutrient. Studies have shown that phosphate is the limiting agent in the growth of plants and algae. If not enough is present, the plants are slow growing or stunted. If too much phosphate is present excess growth may occur, particularly in algae. A large percentage of the phosphate in water is precipitated from the water as iron phosphate which is insoluble. If the phosphate is in shallow sediments, it may be readily recycled back into the water for further reuse. In deeper sediments in water, it is available for use only as part of a general uplifting of rock formations for the cycle to repeat itself.

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Human Inputs to the Phosphorus Cycle: Human influences on the phosphate cycle come mainly from the introduction and use of commercial synthetic fertilizers. The phosphate is obtained through mining of certain deposits of calcium phosphate called apatite. Huge quantities of sulfuric acid are used in the conversion of the phosphate rock into a fertilizer product called "super phosphate".

Plants may not be able to utilize all of the phosphate fertilizer applied, as a consequence, much of it is lost form the land through the water run-off. The phosphate in the water is eventually precipitated as sediments at the bottom of the body of water. In certain lakes and ponds this may be redissolved and recyled as a problem nutrient. Animal wastes or manure may also be applied to the land as fertilizer. If misapplied on frozen ground during the winter, much of it may lost as run-off during the spring thaw. In certain area very large feed lots of animals, may result in excessive run-off of phosphate and nitrate into streams. Other human sources of phosphate are in the out flows from municipal sewage treatment plants. Without an expensive tertiary treatment, the phosphate in sewage is not removed during various treatment operations. Again an extra amount of phosphate enters the water.

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