Definitions



 

Anoxic---Not having oxygen.  e.g. The Earth's atmosphere used to be anoxic.
 

Aerobic---Any activity or place using or having oxygen.    ant. Anaerobic
 

Anthropogenic—Any thing that is made by or directly affected by humans.
 

Carbon—It is the sixth element on the periodic table.  Carbon as a solid can be found nearly everywhere.  In a gaseous state, it primarily is found in carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2).  Since CO2 can be dissolved in water, the liquid state of carbon dioxide is not really liquid carbon.
 

Chlorophyll---This is what is responsible for trapping light energy for photosynthesis.
 

Diffusion---Random movement of molecules or other particles, resulting in even distribution of the particles with no barriers present.
 

Gigaton---This is one billion tons.
 
 

Greenhouse Effect—A warming effect on the Earth.  Certain gases in the atmosphere absorb long wave radiation being emitted from the Earth and then reemit heat in all directions, including back down to Earth.  Only a small amount of thermal energy comes back to the surface, but this warms the Earth.  It is only a slight increase in thermal energy, but an increase of only a few degrees in average surface temperature could have disastrous consequences.
 

Greenhouse gas—Any gas that contributes to the Greenhouse Effect. e.g. CO2, N2O, CH4
 

Hydrocarbons---These compounds contain only carbon and hydrogen.  They combust easily and can therefore be a good source of energy.
 

Photic Zone---This is the area of the ocean that receives light from the sun.  It is about 200 meters deep.
 

Photosynthesis—This is the process where plants make food.  It is a metabolic process that utilizes solar energy to convert CO2 and H2O into a certain type of sugar called glucose (C6H12O6).  This sugar is used for food.
                                    6 CO2 + 6 H2O+ solar energy --> C6H12O6 + 6 O2.
 

Phytoplankton---These ocean dwelling organisms are very small.  They get food by photosynthesis and are food for zooplankton and other larger organisms.
 

Respiration—Conceptually, this is just the opposite of Photosynthesis.  Glucose is burned in the presence of Oxygen producing useful energy.  Water and carbon dioxide are two byproducts.
                                              C6H12O6 + 6 O2 --> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O+ useful energy.

Sequestration---The act of separating something and dealing with it alone.  e.g. Filtering carbon dioxide out of the air and storing it elsewhere.
 
 

Thermocline---Solar heat warms the upper layers of the ocean creating a sharp temperature difference with depth in the ocean.  This temperature difference allows for only the top layer, about 200m thick, to continually be mixed by wind.
 

Upwelling---Water rising from the depths to the surface.
 

Zooplankton---These tiny organisms eat phytoplankton and microzooplankton.  They are far less numerous than the two others mentioned.