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Carbon Cycle



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Weathering Heights

Photograph by Peter Essick

Wind and rain slowly crumble the limestone heights of Grande-Terre in the Caribbean nation of Guadeloupe, releasing carbon from the rock into the water and eventually back into the air in the form of carbon dioxide. The world's oceans absorb a far greater amount of carbon than land, with much of the dissolved carbon ending up in shells of such aquatic animals as oysters, clams, and corals. These remains build up on continental shelves and in the shallower, warmer parts of the deep ocean. Over a period of a few million years the sediments solidify into limestone. Upheavals of the crust thrust limestone deposits out of the water to form uplands like Grande-Terre, where the carbon once again is exposed to weathering.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1V
Film Type: Unrecorded
Lens: 70-200mm
Speed and F-Stop: Two minutes @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Dusk
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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