40. Science Club: Cycling Ratios

See Volk, Tyler, Gaia’s Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth (MIT Press: 2003); Butler, Rhett A. “Soils and Nutrient Cycling in the Rainforest.” Mongabay.com / Tropical Forests: The Understory August 27, 2009. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0502.htm.


1.Gigi: For science club this month, I researched how nature recycles–
Connie: Which life does perfectly!
2.Gigi: Not quite. It depends on the element. Each has its own cycling ratio.
3.Gigi: A carbon atom has a cycling ratio of 200. That’s how many living beings use it before it’s bound up in deep-sea limestone.
4.Gigi: When Earth’s churning mantle consumes it, volcanoes belch it back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
5.Gigi: When sea beds rise, exposed limestone replenishes calcium, which has a cycling ratio of just 1.
6.Gigi: But in lime-poor tropical soil, a rain forest can stretch that ratio to 50.
7.Liza: Wow! So the world’s richest forest grows where it must scrimp and save.
8.Brooke (expensively attired and accessorized): Is that some sort of subtle hint, Liza?

Posted on August 30, 2009 at 12:00 am in Comics and tagged with , . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed.