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Write and submit a short paper in response to the questions posted below
Human Influences on Chemical Cycles
Just as energy flows between living and nonliving parts of the environment, so do specific forms of matter. Water is a basic requirement for all living things on Earth and it moves through the environment via the water cycle. Other important cycles include the carbon and nitrogen cycles. All of these cycles are essential for life, and represent a natural form of recycling.
Review the following diagrams and interactive lessons on the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.
The Water Cycle:
The Nitrogen Cycle:
Come to Seminar prepared to discuss the following with your classmates:
- How are these cycles essential for life and what roles do these forms of matter serve for different types of organisms?
- Where can these forms of matter be found within the living and nonliving parts of ecosystems?
- What processes allow these forms of matter to cycle from one location to another, or between the living and non-living parts of the environment?
- How could human behaviors and rising human populations impact these cycles?
- Using the carbon and nitrogen cycles, hypothesize the likely sources of increased levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides within the atmosphere. Pose some potential solutions to reducing these greenhouse gas emissions, and discuss the challenges associated with implementing these solutions.