Read e-book online Global Biogeochemical Cycles PDF

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By Samuel S. Butcher

Describes the transformation/movement of chemical compounds in a world context and is designed for classes facing a few elements of biogeochemical cycles. equipped in 3 sections, it covers earth sciences, aspect cycles and a synthesis of up to date environmental concerns.

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Certainly, some of the Earth's volatile elements were accreted as cometary and other bodies from the outer solar system, but it is yet unknown if this was the major source of the more volatile elements that comprise the atmosphere and oceans. One possible tracer that could be used to determine the cometary input is the noble gas composition of comets and the atmosphere. Once outgassed, noble gases tend to remain in the atmosphere and are not influenced by subsequent planetary activity. Unfortunately, the noble gas composition of comets is not presently known.

During this time, new cell types evolved and processes of sexual reproduction were perfected, leading to the evolution of plants and animals. The evolution of living organisms was in part possible because of important changes in the physical environment, but living organisms in turn caused profound changes in the physical nature of the Earth and its atmosphere. Ever since the evolution of life, living organisms have been major participants in biogeochemical cycles, the culmination of which are the major anthropogenic perturbations of those cycles today.

Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J. Woolsley, S. E. and M. M. Phillips (1988). Supernova 1987A! Science 240,750--759. 3 Evolution and the Biosphere James T. Staley and Gordon H. 5 Ga ago when the Earth originated (see Chapter 2), this is no longer true. 5 Ga ago. Since that time, biological processes have become increasingly important in determining the distribution of elements and the compounds into which they are incorporated. In this chapter, we discuss the origin and evolution of life, the nature of contemporary living organisms and the molecules they synthesize, and some of the major impacts biological processes have had on the development and continued functioning of the biosphere, the shell about the Earth in which living forms reside.

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