Nonlinearities in Phosphogenesis and Phosphorus-Carbon Coupling and Their Implications for Global Change

  • Karl B. Föllmi
  • Helmut Weissert
  • Andrea Lini
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 4)


The exponential increase in mining of igneous and sedimentary phosphates, and their utilization in agriculture, industry, and the household in the last few decades have lead to a progressive mobilization of phosphorus, which affects the global phosphorus cycle to an increasing degree (Sheldon, 1969, 1982; Stumm, 1973; Lerman et al., 1975). The present-day anthropogenic share in the transfer of reactive phosphorus from sedimentary and igneous reservoirs into the marine and terrestrial biosphere amounts to an estimated 0.4x1012 g P/yr. This number approximates 35% of total phosphorus influx rates into the oceans and, according to Mackenzie et al. (this volume), may balance 10% of the yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 from manmade sources, assuming an average atomic C/P ratio of 250:1, and a complete and permanent storage of the biologically produced carbon (Figure 1; cf. Mackenzie et al.; Meybeck, both this volume).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl B. Föllmi
    • 1
  • Helmut Weissert
    • 1
  • Andrea Lini
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological InstituteETH CenterZürichSwitzerland

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