|Topics||Carbon Cycle, Infiltration, Precipitation, Water Cycle|
The carbon cycle represents the ciruit of carbon through Earth's ecosystem. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is absorbed by plants through photosynthesis. Plants then die and release carbon back into the atmosphere during decomposition or are eaten by animals who breathe (respiration) the carbon into the atmosphere they exhale and produce waste which also releases carbon as it decays.
The water then accumulates as runoff and eventually returns to bodies of water or is absorbed into the Earth (infiltration) and becomes part of the water table, an underground resevoir of fresh water.
Rising into the atmosphere, the water condenses into clouds. When the clouds become too saturated with water, the water is released as snow or ice precipitation which may warm as it falls to reach Earth as rain.
The water (hydrologic) cycle describes the movement of water from Earth through the atmosphere and back to Earth. The cycle starts when water evaporates into a gas from bodies of water like rivers, lakes and oceans or transpirates from the leaves of plants.