What would happen if the carbon cycle was disrupted?

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If there were an interruption in the carbon cycle, life on Earth as we know it would be in danger of being disrupted.  There is a finite amount of carbon contained on the Earth, and the carbon cycle is instrumental in replacing carbon that has been used by living things, so that it can be used over again.  Take plants, for example; they have to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help conduct the process of photosynthesis, which helps them manufacture glucose, which fuels the plants cells.  Without carbon dioxide, the plants would not do as well, and potentially die, creating a problem for all the animals on the planet, Since they have to breathe oxygen to live.  Oxygen is given off as a waste product by the plants while they are conducting photosynthesis.  The carbon cycle is very important to all things living, as they are composed primarily of carbon, so it is important the carbon cycle stay on schedule for now and the forseeable future!

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what would happen if there was no carbon cycle/ the carbon cycle stopped?

All living things contain carbon. Remember the equation for cellular respiration--oxygen + carbohydrates--->carbon dioxide + water (and releases energy). The reverse, photosynthesis, is the way that energy is captured as sunlight, and made available for living things. Both carbohydrates and carbon dioxide contain carbon.

Carbon is also found in various other compounds in our bodies, such as proteins, lipids, and genetic material. It helps make up our teeth and bones. When carbon cycles, it also does so through non-living things. The amount of carbon does not change; we can't get more. If carbon did not cycle through various forms, there would not be any available for living things, and life would not be possible. At least, not any type we are used to.

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What would happen if the carbon cycle stopped?  

Organic compounds like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids all contain the element carbon. Carbon must cycle between the abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) components within an ecosystem or that ecosystem would cease to function.

Consider carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Plants and algae take in carbon dioxide, along with sunlight and water and carry out photosynthesis. The carbon from the carbon dioxide is incorporated into a molecule known as glucose--(C6H12O6) which is produced by autotrophs like green plants.

Once glucose is produced in plant leaves, consumers can eat the plant to obtain energy. Meat-eaters can eat the plant-eater all the while transferring carbon from one consumer to the next in a food chain. However, through the processes of animal and plant respiration, carbon dioxide is released once again to the atmosphere as a waste product. 

As organisms die and decompose, carbon dioxide is produced and returns to the environment. Ancient partly decomposed plants that were buried under water became coal, and marine plankton remains that were buried became natural gas and oil over a long period of time. Coal, oil and gas are fossil fuels that contain carbon because they were derived from living organisms whose bodies contained carbon compounds. When combustion occurs, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

Some carbon dioxide is absorbed into the oceans and after the processes of burial and compaction, it becomes a component of limestone which is calcium carbonate and may become incorporated into coral reefs.

To summarize- the carbon cycle is vital because carbon is present in important organic compounds found in living organisms. It must be able to cycle between the living and non-living portions of the ecosystem. Without adequate carbon the ecosystem would be unable to function.

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