3.2-The Carbon and Oxygen Cycle The carbon cycle and the oxygen cycle are both an essential and important part of the many fundamental life sustaining processes that occur within living things. The two cycles are in fact closely related and dependent upon one another. * Why is carbon important as a resource? It is important for all aspects of life. Apart from being a basic need and both the reactant and the product of important processes like photosynthesis and cellular respiration, carbon plays an important role even inside our own bodies!!! Fats, proteins and even DNA are all molecules composed of carbon. * The Carbon cycle: Matter moves from inorganic form to organic form and then back to inorganic again. As a cycle, this transformation happens constantly. - Organic Carbon: This type of carbon is formed from organic (living matter) such as animals or plants. An example would be humans. Organic reservoirs would basically be bodies of living things. -Inorganic Carbon: Inorganic, (meaning not rising from natural growth) could be a variety of things, from carbon dioxide to thiocyanate. There are three main reservoirs of inorganic carbon: the atmosphere, ocean and earth’s crust, with ocean being the biggest reservoirs and the atmosphere the smallest. -Photosynthesis: Taking in solar energy, water and Carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates (a diverse group of products varying from sugars and starch to cellulose). Photosynthesis is performed mostly by plants but can also be occurring in other organisms with an example being cyanobacteria. - Cellular Respiration: Can be thought of as a “reverse” process to photosynthesis where the reactants and products switch places. In cellular 8respiration glucose is broken down into Carbon dioxide and water by cells, therefore causing a release of great energy. -Combustion: A substance that acts extremely quickly with oxygen in order to release energy is said to be combustible. In combustion, chemical energy from the combining of oxygen with a substance/fuel is converted into heat (thermal) and light energy. Burning of fossil fuels will cause a drastic increase in the carbon present in the atmosphere. 3.2-The Carbon and Oxygen Cycle * The Oxygen Cycle: Oxygen is an integral part of both cellular respiration and photosynthesis, and due to that the carbon cycle is closely linked to the oxygen cycle. In the oxygen cycle there is movement from living things into the atmosphere and back into living things. Oxygen atoms cycle in the atmosphere between oxygen gas (O2) and ozone (O3). Carbon production is heavily dependent upon the oxygen cycle, since processes like combustion will release carbon dioxide. As a result of that, without oxygen carbon cycle would not be able to happen. Oxygen is found in living things, water and most in rocks of the lithosphere. *Sedimentation: When abiotic and biotic factors settle in to the bottom of water bodies because of gravity.