3.a.1 What is dynamic equilibrium and balance in the water and carbon…
What is dynamic equilibrium and balance in the water and carbon cycles?
Natural systems unaffected by human activity exist in a state of
A state of balance that has a long term average that is the same. However, the system may experience short term changes then return back to the long term average.
. When something is added to the system and disrupts the equilibrium.
Continues to grow.
Out of control
. When something is added to the system which brings the system back into equilibrium.
A change will occur but equilibrium is reached after the change.
In a drainage basin,
usually heavy rainfall
(causes the system to temporarily be out of balance) will increase the amount of water stored in the aquifer. This in turn will raise the water table, increasing flow from springs and rivers. This continues until the water table reverts to normal levels
In the carbon cycle, burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric carbon dioxide, but at the same time, excess carbon dioxide allows for more photosynthesis to occur. This should remove the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and restore equilibrium.
Balance in the water cycle
the total amount of water on the planet, does not change over time. The hydrologic cycle is a closed system.
Water is constantly moving and changing form, but it is neither created nor destroyed.
Balance in the carbon cycle
The law of conservation of mass states:
atoms are neither created nor destroyed throughout all their physical and chemical transformations.
Carbon atoms that existed when the Earth was formed are the same ones that exist today.
Carbon atoms are transformed and transferred over the entire Earth
, including the air, water, and all organisms in the global carbon cycle, but they are
always in balance.
In the name of development, we have removed trees and vegetation, change how we use land, and keep expanding paved areas. All these not only affect the carbon cycle but also the water cycle.