There are three major elements affected by human activity; carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen. However, in terms of our ecosystem, humans have had a hand in changing the oceans and the atmosphere’s chemical composition and the activities associated with these changes have had a negative impact.
Carbon dioxide within the atmosphere is the beginning of the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis and addition metabolism changes form and travels through various reservoirs which include living organisms. Plant carbon atoms are then consumed by other living organisms and returned back into the atmosphere by respiration and dead matter. However, the carbon cycle in the oceanic aspect is different. It is driven by phytoplankton and macroalgae and includes processes of surface mixing and carbon enriched sediments settling on the ocean floor (NASA Science, n.d.). Carbon dioxide is then returned to the atmosphere by the respiration by the oceans living organisms.
Human activities as had a significant effect on the carbon cycle. The amount of carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere is increasing which is caused by deforestation, burning of fossil fuels and soil degradation (Wright & Boose, 2014, p. 67). By increasing our carbon footprint on our atmosphere we are increasing the greenhouse effect; several scientists believe it is the reason for the increase in atmospheric temperatures (Bennett, 2014). Furthermore, when we burn oil and coal, we are causing the carbon to be released into the atmosphere that has been trapped underground. However, we are lessening our carbon footprint by replanting trees and changing agricultural practices (Wright & Boose, 2014, p. 67).
In the phosphorous cycle, when rocks gradually break down, phosphate and other ions are slowly released (Wright & Boose, 2014, p.67). From there, vegetation absorbs the phosphate from the soil or water and begins to move it across the food chain. This cycle is a...