AP Environmental Science : Carbon Cycle

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Carbon Cycle

Which of the following steps is not part of the carbon cycle?

Possible Answers:

Combustion

Extraction

Photosynthesis

Respiration

Transpiration

Correct answer:

Transpiration

Explanation:

Transpiration concerns the process through which water is carried through plants from roots to small pores in leaves, where it evaporates into the atmosphere. Thus transpiration is not a part of the carbon cycle, which concerns the biochemical exchange of carbon. 

Example Question #1 : Biochemical Cycles

All of the following are Carbon sinks in the Carbon Cycle except...? 

Possible Answers:

Plants

The Ocean

The Atmosphere

Animals

Correct answer:

The Atmosphere

Explanation:

The Atmosphere is largely the source of Carbon in the Carbon cycle. Plants utilize photosynthesis to convert atmospheric Carbon Dioxide into Glucose. Animals consume this Glucose and store it in their bodies until they die. the Ocean hosts a large amount of dissolved Carbon Dioxide gas and has Calcium Carbonate as a storage place in oceanic organisms like coral. 

Example Question #3 : Biochemical Cycles

Which of these is a type of biogeochemical cycles?

Possible Answers:

Phosphorous cycle

Hydraulic cycle

All of these

Carbon cycle

Nitrogen cycle

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

All of these are biogeochemical cycles:

Carbon cycle - plants and animals consume carbon dioxide and release carbon dioxide during decomposition or respiration, then the carbon dioxide returns to the atmosphere.

Phosphorus cycle - similar to the carbon cycle, plants and animals consume phosphorous and release it during decomposition. Then the phosphorous returns to the ground and waterways by way of bacteria and processes such as mineralization. 

Nitrogen cycle - this is the most complicated biogeochemical cycles. This is because it takes place in multiple situations, including: nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and ammonification.

Hydraulic cycle - the water cycle. Water evaporates, wind moves air (and water), precipitation occurs.

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