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Carbon Cycle



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The Best of Carbon
Photograph by Peter Essick

Foundation of life, carbon resides in every organism, from microscopic plankton to magnificent humpback whales (above); both play important roles in the workings of the carbon cycle in the cold Atlantic waters off Newfoundland. The phytoplankton crowding surface waters in spring absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. In turn these tiny aquatic plants start the ocean food chain for species like the capelin, a small fish that spawns in Newfoundland's coastal waters. The whales come to feast on capelins. Once a whale dies, its body decomposes, liberating the carbon to progress through the carbon cycle.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1V
Film Type: Unrecorded
Lens: 70-200mm with 1.4 converter
Speed and F-Stop: 1/500 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Cloudy
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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