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Moving And Flowing

Death Valley after a thunderstorm. its all part of the water cycle. We've been looking at the way ecosystems are always in movement. Whether we look at the food chain or the growth and reduction of populations, ecosystems are always shifting and moving. The same idea goes for the pieces that keep everything alive. There are cycling and flowing nutrients, molecules, and energy. We wanted to look at a few examples in this section.

BIO-GEO-CHEMICAL

Wow. Talk about a word that describes everything on Earth. The cycles we discuss will all fall into the big group of biogeochemical cycles. Let's break it down.

BIO: Biology. Life. Living things. These cycles all play a role in the lives of living things. The cycles might limit the organisms of Earth or they might happen along side, changing the environment.

GEO: Earth. Rocks. Land. This refers to the non-living processes at work. Oxygen cycles through many systems. It's in you and plants for the 'bio' part of the cycle. Oxygen might also wind up in rocks. The 'geo' part of its cycle.

This forest fire releases carbon atoms and compounds into the atmosphere and surrounding ecosystems CHEMICAL: Molecules. Reactions. Atoms. All cycles include these small pathways. Complete molecules are not always passed from one point to the next. Sometimes chemical reactions take place that changes the molecules and locations of the atoms. Think about oxidation as an example of the 'chemical' part of these pathways. Oxidation happens in the presence of oxygen (O).

To sum it up, these pathways are all made of different biological, geological, and chemical processes that help make the world go 'round and life exist on Earth.

Earth Cycles Earth Cycles
Materials and natural resources continue cycling through the Earth's systems every day. Introduction to cycles. (NASA/GSFC)
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Earth Cycles Earth Cycles
Materials and natural resources continue cycling through the Earth's systems every day. Review of cycles. (NASA/GSFC)
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