Cycles of a living planet
The Earth is a dynamic planet. Geological and biological processes cause energy and the elements necessary for life-carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus- to circulate through global “reservoirs.” These reservoirs are the biosphere (the living portion of our planet), the atmosphere, the ocean, and the solid Earth. It is only because of this cycling that life can thrive. The cycling of elements determines the environment, for example by regulating the composition, and thus the temperature, of the atmosphere.
Topic: Earth Science
Subtopic: Earth Structure
Keywords: Earth (Planet), Ocean, Atmosphere, Geology, Life (Biology), Chemical elements, Biosphere, Biology
Elements that sustain life stay in the Earth’s reservoirs for different lengths of time.
Carbon is a major component of all life, and in the form of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, it helps to maintain a habitable range in temperatures.
The rock cycle takes eons.
Water is part of the Earth, its atmosphere, and all of its living organisms.