Earths Life Support System 2. How do the water and carbon cycles operate in contrasting locations?

  • Created by: DanBish
  • Created on: 05-05-22 16:24
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  • How do the water and carbon cycles operate in contrasting locations? - Tundra
    • Water Cycle
      • Precipitation - Low levels of precipitation as close to the polar high than the low pressure between Polar and Ferrell cells
      • Evapo-transpiration - Low rates as sparse and small vegetation + low temperatures. When temperatures rise, energy used in melting snow and ice. Little water vapour in air
      • Runoff + Soil Storage - Rivers discharge into Arctic Ocean gain water from outside tundra, as little surface runoff and infiltration due to permafrost. Lots of water stores in soil in permafrost, so in summer active layer melts, causing top soil to be waterlogged
      • Geology - Doesn't have an impact, as the determining factor is the permafrost, which acts as an impermeable barrier
      • Relief - Large areas of flat plains, which doesn't encourage overland flow, but causes ponds and small lakes in summer
    • Carbon Cycle
      • Tundra is a low productivity eco-system, so there is relatively little biomass.
      • Most carbon held in the permafrost, as that is where dead matter is trapped decomposing for multiple years.
    • Seasonal Changes
      • Almost no carbon flow in winter, as no photo-synthesis nor de-composition due to the temperatures, with a small amount of carbon flow in the 3 summer months where it heats up
      • Very little water flow in winter, as almost all precipitation is snowfall, which doesn't melt, and water is held in permafrost, although in summer, some rainfall occurs, with surface runoff


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