Biogeochemistry: an Analysis of Global Change by William H Schlesinger (Auth.)

By William H Schlesinger (Auth.)

Biogeochemistry is the research of the geochemical reactions that happen within the surroundings, oceans, and crustal minerals of the Earth's floor as plagued by dwelling organisms. this article examines international adjustments that experience happened and are taking place in water, air, and on land, and relates them to the worldwide cycles of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur. The textual content is meant for college students and pros within the environmental, geochemical, and ecological disciplines

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8). Variations in a t m o s p h e r i c C 0 2 have b e e n limited; with­ o u t t h e p r e s e n t g r e e n h o u s e effect t h e surface t e m p e r a t u r e o n E a r t h would be 255 K, a n d t h e p l a n e t would be covered in ice ( R a m a n a t h a n 1988). 6 2. Origins 39 L i g h t n i n g bolts allow t h e c o m b i n a t i o n of N 2 a n d 0 2 in t h e a t m o s p h e r e , eventually l e a d i n g to t h e f o r m a t i o n of N 0 3 ~ . It is t e m p t i n g to c o n c l u d e t h a t w i t h o u t denitrifying o r g a n i s m s , m u c h of t h e a t m o s p h e r i c N 2 w o u l d have b e e n c o n v e r t e d to NO3, which w o u l d be f o u n d as a n e x t r e m e l y stable ion in seawater (Sillen 1966).

A n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e l o n g - t e r m cycle of c a r b o n o n t h e E a r t h m a y h e l p to explain t h e possible evolution of conditions o n Mars. O n E a r t h , C O 2 released from crustal degassing in volcanos reacts with surface m i n ­ erals in c a r b o n a t i o n w e a t h e r i n g ( C h a p t e r 4), a n d rivers carry t h e dis­ solved ions to t h e ocean (Fig. 8). I n t h e oceans, calcium c a r b o n a t e is d e p o s i t e d in m a r i n e s e d i m e n t s , which in time a r e s u b d u c t e d into t h e u p p e r m a n t l e .

While we will m e n t i o n t h e sources of a t m o s p h e r i c gases h e r e briefly, they will be t r e a t e d in m o r e detail in later c h a p t e r s of this book, especially as we e x a m i n e t h e microbial reactions t h a t o c c u r in soils, wetlands, a n d ocean s e d i m e n t s . Structure and Composition T h e a t m o s p h e r e is h e l d o n t h e E a r t h ' s surface by t h e gravitational attrac­ tion of t h e E a r t h . 1) 2 w h e r e g is t h e acceleration d u e to gravity (980 cm s ~ at sea level).

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