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The carbon dioxide cycle is when carbon cycles its way through ecosystems, moving from one organism to the other, as well as between organisms and the environment. The carbon cycle is a primary factor in maintaining an ecosystem’s balance. The steps of the carbon cycle are as follows:
Plants photosynthesize, taking carbon in the form of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locking it into the carbohydrate glucose. Respiration also occurs in plants, but the amount of carbon dioxide taken in is more than their carbon dioxide output.
The oceans uptake carbon dioxide to a certain degree. Stores of carbon exist both in the ocean and the atmosphere.
Animals gain carbon from the consumption of plants or animals, which is then digested. Respiration gives off carbon dioxide to the environment.
Animals go on to excrete carbon-based waste, which decomposers, such as microbes and fungi, digest. The decomposers respire, releasing carbon dioxide as well.
Upon the death of animals, remains are either eaten by scavengers like crows or digested once more by decomposers. Both types of animals respire and give off more carbon dioxide.
Both animal and plant remains, given the right conditions, may fossilize, forming carbon-based fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil.
Fossil fuels and plant material such as wood may be combusted by anthropogenic or natural means, meaning more carbon dioxide is released to the environment. Human-made factory emissions do just this.
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Jul 14th, 2015
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