Anda di halaman 1dari 2

How Does Carbon dioxide affect organisms both directly and indirectly describe and explain these effects

CO2 has a wide array of effects on organisms. Plants require energy for photosynthesis, active transport, DNA replication, and protein synthesis. CO2 is required for photosynthesis. Through the Calvin cycle (carbon fixation) which takes place in the stroma of the chloroplasts. It makes a molecule called Triose phosphate from CO2 and Ribulose bisphosphate. Triose phosphate can be used to make glucose and other useful organic substances such as amino acids. CO2 combine with Ribulose bisphosphate a 5 carbon compound. This gives an unstable 6 carbon compound which quickly breaks down in to two molecules of a 3 carbon compound called Glycerate 3phosphate. The Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase catalyses the reaction between CO2 and Ribulose bisphosphate. This process required for energy for plants shows the direct influence of CO2 in plants. On the other hand although CO2 is essential for photosynthesis, the waste product of the process is oxygen. This vital molecule is needed for animals and other oxygen breathing organisms. This shows CO2 directly affecting organisms such as plants and indirectly affecting some organisms like animals. CO2 is an ever present issue with global warming; this affects organisms in a variety of ways. It happens when greenhouse gases, released from burning fossil fuels, (carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxide, and methane) trap heat and light from the sun in the earths atmosphere, which increases the temperature. This has a knock on effect on organisms. As global warming causes climate change, many great deserts like the Sahara are no longer able to sustain their animal population. Loss of habitat is most vividly seen in the Arctic, where global warming is melting the glaciers and ice caps, this effects species such as polar bears which use the ice caps to hunt, pushing the polar bears towards extinction. The melting glaciers have caused water levels to rise in many oceans, threatening to submerge many tropical islands and forests that teem with animal life. Many animals and birds, like penguins and flamingos, travel long distances to warmer climates, for breeding purposes. Devastation of the migratory routes and their habitat due to the increasing temperature has made many of them alter or not migrate at all. This forces them to seek alternative migration habitats, where they have to compete for food and shelter with other migratory or resident animals and birds. The same is also happening in case of aquatic mammals, which prefer warmer waters for breeding and hibernation. Animals that migrate depending on seasonallylinked phenomena, such as the formation of ice, lakes and other water bodies, and the availability of seasonal foods, also suffer, when the environmental conditions around their migratory destination changes. This shows the enormous affect CO2 has, although indirectly through raising world temperatures, in vastly altering an organisms life. Ocean pH decreases through uptake of atmospheric CO2 in a process known as Ocean acidification. CO2 has been able to directly impact marine species because of this, particularly calcifying organisms. They include corals and molluscs. Under normal conditions, theses organisms are stable in surface waters since the carbonate ion is at supersaturating concentrations. However,

Mohammed Kamora

as ocean pH falls, so does the concentration of this ion, and when carbonate becomes under saturated, structures made of calcium carbonate such as the shells of molluscs are vulnerable to dissolution. Hence acidification is dangerous to the calcifying organisms. CO2 has an essential role within the human body through internal respiration. Areas within the body with a low level of CO2 show where oxygen is required. Through the Bohr effect, the haemoglobin which carries oxygen molecules, changes shape to a lower affinity when a high concentration of CO2 has lowered the pH of the blood making it increasingly acidic. This causes the Haemoglobin to release the oxygen it was carrying into the area. Similarly when the amount of CO2 is low, the pH is higher, this creates a higher affinity for haemoglobin, meaning more oxygen molecules can be carried by the haemoglobin. This allows efficient gas exchange and ensures oxygen is always readily available around the body when needed. CO2 controlling the pH of the blood, is essential for survival. The buffer system in which CO2 plays an important role is called the carbonate buffer. It is made up of bicarbonate ions and dissolved carbon dioxide, with carbonic acid. The carbonic acid can neutralize hydroxide ions, which would increase the pH of the blood when added. The bicarbonate ion can neutralize hydrogen ions, which would cause a decrease in the pH of the blood when added. Both large increases and decreases in the pH can be life threatening.This shows CO2 having a positive direct affect on an organism such as a human in being a vital part in respiration and body function. CO2 through various ways is able to influence organism lifestyles both directly and indirectly. Increasing CO2 concentration is causing global warming. This has a knock on affect on climate change like seasonal changes. All organisms could be affected by this; however its important to realize that different organisms are affected in different ways.

Mohammed Kamora