Human Impact on Carbon Cycle
Human activities have greatly influenced the carbon cycle. The discharge of CO2, into the atmosphere is steadily increasing owing to burning of fossil fuels and destruction of forests. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution about 1800, it is believed that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 290 ppm (parts per million) which is equal to 0.29 per cent. In 1958 when accurate measurements were first taken, the concentration of CO2 was already 315 ppm, while in 1988 it had risen to 350 ppm. A major concern over the increasing concentration of CO2in the atmosphere is its possible effect on the average ambient global temperature. Carbon dioxide is one of the gases that helps to produce the 'greenhouse effect'.
Rise in the ambient global temperature would have pronounced ecological effects. The warming would cause icecaps to melt and ocean levels to raise as a result the continental coastal regions would be flooded. The rise in temperature would also change the rainfall and vegetation patterns which would disrupt agricultural 'production. This has been verified by comparing with predictions of climatic patterns of the past through computer modelling studies.