Transportation and the Carbon Cycle
In the biosphere, a set of cycles represents how energy and elements
flow from one constituent, like the atmosphere, to others where they
are accumulated (permanently of temporarily) or passed on. Well-known
cycles are the ones of carbon, nitrogen and water.
The above figure illustrates the potential contribution of human
activities, including transportation,
to different geographical scales of the carbon cycle. This investigation
of the anthropogenic contribution of emissions to the atmosphere
may reveal only one link in the environmental chain. Further,
several aspects of the carbon cycle are ill-defined and difficult to
evaluate, but show all the complexity the growth of carbon dioxide emitted
by transportation may imply for elements of the environmental system,
including the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the ecosphere.