Carbon Cycle

Take home message:

There are no “magic” fixes for the CO2 problem.

Main Terms to understand:

Carbon “sink”

Main Concepts:

·         Accounting of carbon on earth…what are the major reservoirs (pools) of carbon?

·         What are the main pathways for transferring carbon?

·         What is the mass balance of carbon in the atmosphere?  Is it at equilibrium, positive or negative?

·         What does the term "missing sink of carbon" actually mean?  Where did the carbon go?

·         What are the dominant controls on the flux of carbon between reservoirs?  How do these processes affect the rate of carbon transfer?

·         If the concentration of CO2 has been greater in the geologic past, what is the big deal today?  Why are scientists and citizens concerned about increasing levels of CO2?

·         What are some of the proposed “fixes” for CO2 increase in the atmosphere?

·         Describe how you can use the general "tools" of biogeochemistry to determine if these "fixes" will work.

A note on "Take home messages":

In his lectures Dr. Kling presents “take home messages.”  As you are going through your notes and these review sheets, consider these messages in the following way.  For each message, provide a brief example or description of what evidence was used to support or derive these messages, and how they are important in terms of thinking about the scientific aspects of global change. You will notice that in providing a description of what the take-home message means, you will be describing the basic "what we wish to learn" questions shown at the start of lecture, or answering the "summary" points on the last slide of the lecture. For each of those questions or summary points there may be several slides which provide the detail of data or specific examples that support the answers or the conclusions of the lecture. The more fully (and easily) you can trace back from the take-home message to the specifics presented in lecture, the more understanding you have about the material and the main points.