Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Atmospheric Biogeochemistry

  • Natalie M. Mahowald
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_549

Definition of the Subject and Its Importance

Biogeochemistry represents the interaction of biology, chemistry, and geology in the Earth system. For many processes, an understanding of biological uptake and emission, chemical processing, and geological sequestration is necessary to resolve the sources and sinks of a particular constituent. For example, to discover the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide, it is important to understand how biota take up carbon dioxide and chemically convert the carbon to organic carbon, and then how this organic carbon is used either to produce energy by biota or is deposited to the land or ocean surface and can become sequestered in geological formations. Often when biogeochemistry is referred to, one refers to the nutrient cycling of important nutrients. Atmospheric biogeochemistry, as defined in its narrowest sense, is the flux of nutrients and pollutants important for biogeochemistry through the atmosphere. In its broadest sense,...

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The author would like to thank NSF (0932946, 0832782, 0758369) and NASA (NNG06G127G), as well as Rachel Scanza for assistance on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesAtkinson Center for Sustainable Future, Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA