What is it about?

Carbon is a crucial element for life on earth, playing a significant role in the global biogeochemical cycles. It is present in various forms, including carbon dioxide (CO2), organic matter, and fossil fuels. Human activities have significantly altered the natural carbon cycles, leading to changes in climate at the local, regional, and global scales. To understand the impact of human activities on the carbon cycles, it is important to understand the carbon fluxes among different geo-habitats. Geo-habitats refer to different environments on earth, such as the atmosphere, oceans, soils, and vegetation. Carbon fluxes involve the transfer of carbon among these habitats, which can be either natural or anthropogenic. Natural carbon fluxes are part of the earth's carbon cycles, where carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere, oceans, vegetation, and soils. These fluxes are essential for maintaining a stable climate and supporting life on earth. However, human activities have accelerated the rate of carbon fluxes, leading to an imbalance in the atmospheric carbon cycle and contributing to climate change. Anthropogenic carbon fluxes result from human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and land-use change. These activities release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leading to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. This increase in concentration traps heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming and climate change. To minimize environmental impacts, there is a need to establish anthropogenic carbon cycles. These cycles aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote carbon sequestration, which involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in natural sinks such as oceans, soils, and vegetation. This can be achieved through the development of sustainable energy systems, reforestation, and afforestation, and the promotion of sustainable land use practices. Overall, balancing the carbon fluxes is crucial for maintaining a stable climate and supporting life on earth.

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Why is it important?

The importance of this paper lies in summarizing the natural and human-caused carbon fluxes, the consequences of an imbalance in the carbon cycle, and the need to establish anthropogenic carbon cycles to mitigate climate change. The importance of promoting sustainable practices and balancing the carbon fluxes is likewise emphasized.


After reading this conclusion, one might feel hopeful about the potential for establishing a circular economy that incorporates renewable resources to minimize the impact of carbon emissions. As someone who is concerned about the environment and the impact of human activities on it, I believe that it is crucial to take action to address the issue of climate change. It is encouraging to see that there are potential solutions that can help us reduce our carbon footprint while also creating opportunities for new value chains. It is essential to promote the use of renewable energy and to find innovative ways to use CO2 as a sustainable carbon source. By adopting a circular economy approach, we can not only minimize our impact on the environment but also create economic benefits. However, it is also important to recognize that creating these circular value chains will require proper planning, evaluation, and adoption of appropriate technologies. As individuals, we can contribute to this effort by supporting the development of renewable energy, reducing our carbon footprint, and promoting sustainable practices.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ernst Müller
Ruhr-Universitat Bochum

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Evaluating the carbon inventory, carbon fluxes and carbon cycles for a long-term sustainable world, Green Chemistry, January 2019, Royal Society of Chemistry, DOI: 10.1039/c9gc00528e.
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