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What are carbon sources and carbon sinks? How is carbon cycled?



Carbon exists in nature in different forms. Let's learn about carbon sources, carbon sinks, and carbon cycles.

What are carbon sources and carbon sinks?

Carbon exists in nature in different forms. Carbon sources refer to the processes, activities or mechanisms that release carbon into the atmosphere from carbon reservoirs, such as deforestation, coal-burning power generation and other processes.

On the contrary, carbon sink refers to the process, activity or mechanism that absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through various measures, thereby reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The major carbon sinks in the world include forest carbon sinks, grassland carbon sinks, cultivated land carbon sinks, soil carbon sinks and ocean carbon sinks.


How is carbon cycled?

The carbon cycle refers to the phenomenon in which carbon is exchanged in the earth's biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, and circulates endlessly with the movement of the earth.

Lithospheric fossil fuels are the largest carbon pool on the earth, and their carbon content accounts for about 99.9% of the total carbon on the earth. Carbon in rocks enters the atmosphere and ocean after being decomposed by various natural and man-made chemical processes, while dead organisms and other carbon-containing materials return to the crust in the form of sediments, thus forming part of the global carbon cycle.

But in fact, despite the large reserves of fossil fuels in the lithosphere, carbon activity is very slow. On the contrary, the three carbon pools, the atmospheric reservoir, the hydrosphere reservoir and the biological reservoir, are very active despite their small carbon capacity.

The geobiochemical cycle of carbon controls the movement of carbon between surface or near-surface sediments and the atmosphere, biosphere and ocean.

The carbon cycle in the biosphere is mainly manifested in: the plants in the land and the ocean absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and then return to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide through biological or geological processes and human activities, which is what makes the earth different from other planets. . After carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, it can be completely renewed every 20 years.

It should be noted that what we usually talk about is to reduce carbon emissions and deal with climate change, which refers to the management and control of carbon emissions generated by human activities and the realization of more carbon sinks through human efforts, which does not include the natural cycle of carbon. .

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