3.4 original

3.4 To summarize …

Because of all circular processes, life can go on indefinitely under our glass cap.

What was it again?

  • All matter that will ever exist on Earth is here now and is not going anywhere, it just changes shape
  • However, all matter continues to disintegrate into smaller and smaller particles (for example, look at how plastic spreads in our system and ends up everywhere).
  • The Earth is an open system with regard to energy because it receives energy from the sun and gives off radiation.
  • Plants use the energy of the sun to create new building blocks for life (food and oxygen)
  • Humans and animals eat plants and breathe in and excrete oxygen in the form of faeces and CO2 (fast carbon cycle, only minutes and days for conversion)
  • We also have a slow carbon cycle on Earth, lasting hundreds to millions of years
  • Plants- and animal remains were absorbed into another closed system, the earth’s crust. There they became pressurized fossil fuel