Global Cycles of Energy and Matter
Energy and matter use multiple pathways to cycle among Earth system reservoirs. The resources within this section will foster the exploration of the ways in which these cycles are responsible for the continuous sculpting of our planet’s surface, opening new ocean basins, building mountains, and eroding continents. These cycles also drive the chemical evolution of the atmosphere and ocean, control the physical and chemical conditions that allow life to develop and evolve, regulate the recovery from major perturbations in Earth’s climate, generate natural hazards that threaten global communities, and contribute to the accumulation of key resources, including fresh water and critical metals.
By investigating ocean cores, students will learn about the important details and critical missing information regarding the rates and magnitudes of energy, chemical, nutrient, and fluid transfers among Earth’s rocks, ocean, atmosphere, and life. This data in the ocean cores can reveal how global cycles control Earth’s evolution over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
Key Words: carbon cycle, cycle, energy, matter, metal cycle, water cycle,