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Just like the rock and water cycles, the oxygen cycle is the system which recycles the oxygen on the Earth. This process has been going on for hundreds of millions of years and continues thanks to the presence of life on the planet. As you can see with the oxygen cycle PPT, the system itself is quite simple and easy to follow. That’s why using an oxygen cycle diagram can help you better understand how the system works.

How the Cycle Works

The oxygen cycle itself is fairly simple and straightforward to understand, especially if you have a proper diagram to follow.

It all starts with plants that create oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere where it is then breathed in by animals and certain plants. These animals and certain plants will then discharge carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is then absorbed by most plants which completes the cycle on land.

There are four main reservoirs of oxygen on the Earth as it is one of the most abundant elements.

  • Atmosphere: 21% Oxygen
  • Biosphere: 22% Oxygen
  • Hydrosphere: 33% Oxygen

The fourth is the lithosphere which mostly consists of silica minerals along with other minerals made of oxide and is 94% oxygen. It is the process of photosynthesis which moves the oxygen both on land and sea and allows it to travel between reservoirs. The photosynthesis of plants on land and the phytoplankton in the ocean creates a continual source of oxygen for the planet.

How Photosynthesis Helps Create Oxygen

In other words, without the sun life on earth would be impossible in more ways than just the light it brings to the world. It also provides the light which fosters photosynthesis.

It should be noted that oxygen is a byproduct or waste product of phytoplankton and plants which allows creatures that breathe oxygen to survive. There is another source of free oxygen that comes from photolysis. This is where ultraviolet radiation, which contains a considerable amount of energy, breaks down nitrous oxide and atmospheric water into their component atoms. In other words, it separates the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up the water and releases both into the atmosphere.

This process allows for animal life to breathe in the oxygen and produce carbon dioxide as the byproduct or waste product which is then absorbed by plants. In addition, the biosphere and lithosphere also have a cycle of oxygen that starts with the calcium carbonate materials found in shells in the biosphere. These shells contain a considerable amount of oxygen and when the organism dies, the shell settles to the floor of the ocean and buried which eventually creates limestone rock. The weathering process then releases the oxygen into the lithosphere.

The oxygen cycle is an essential process for life on Earth. That’s why using an oxygen cycle diagram can help you better understand the process of how it works. It is why many use an oxygen cycle PPT or diagram to demonstrate visually how it makes life on this planet possible.

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