Climate Change Knowledge

The Carbon Cycle
                          Short/fast  and  long/slow carbon cycles

NASA article The Carbon Cycle

What is the Carbon Cycle
United States Carbon Cycle Science Program



​​Carbon dioxide is the top greenhouse gas in causing global warming and climate change,  ​and it also causes ocean acidification. The science of CO2 in climate and of ocean ​ocean acidification is the science of the carbon cycle/s.

​​Carbon cycles through land and oceans​​. For both there are two carbon cycles.

The short/fast carbon cycle is ​the biological ​carbon cycle ​​we are familiar with is. 

The (ultra) slow carbon cycle that determines ​climate (climate
​change)​ is the cycle by which fossil carbon in formed.
​This takes millions of years, to lay down fossil carbon as
​coal, oil, gas and ​limestone rock.

​These take millions years of years to form
which is by
​the geological carbon cycle. 

Coal was formed from ancient forests that grew in swamps
mostly starting 300 million years ago with the youngest coal one
​million years old.
​The other fossil carbons were formed in the ancient ocean
​sediments and huge lakes. 
Oil and gas formation happened 300 million years to 40 million years ago.
​This makes the oceans by far the largest true carbon sinks
​​(atmospheric CO2 removal).
​Most illustrations make it look as ​if all the fuel fossil carbon have been formed by the land. Oil and gas started to form when the Earth was ​all ocean and swamp. Also over millions of year the land has moved and there has been upheavals of the ocean floors.

​​This 2010 ocean research confirms the primary role of the oceans in cycling carbon

Ocean phytoplankton take up the most CO2​. The ocean biological carbon pump depends on phytoplankton and is essential to the deep ocean floor formation of fossil carbon oil, gas and limestone rock

The ultra long term carbon cycle determines the ultra long life of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
This makes CO2 emissions highly persistent and cumulative in the atmosphere​
This in turn determines the fact that global temperature and ocean acidification cannot stabilize
​without zero industrial carbon emissions.
It is ironic that the formation of fossil carbon coal, oil and gas means we cannot burn any more as fossil fuel reserves. 
Includes carbon fluxes

Long term ultra-slow carbon cycle​
Various images showing fast & slow cycles 
The ocean biological & carbon pump, starting with phytoplankton is crucial.