The Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions

2038 Words Jul 12th, 2005 9 Pages
The Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions

The two changes in the use of the earth's resources that had the greatest effect on the world population were the Neolithic and the industrial revolutions.

The Neolithic revolution (a.k.a. agricultural revolution) was a change in the way of life of our ancestors. It took place about 8000 years ago among various tribes in Asia and the Middle East. It included a transition from foraging and hunting to the domestication of animals (most probably starting with the dog) and to farming. Tribes settled in fertile areas and formed agricultural communities many of which grew into villages and cities. This relatively stable way of life and the more reliable food supply (and surplus) led to the development
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Biogeochemical cycles

In the carbon cycle, the key events are the complementary reactions of respiration and photosynthesis. Respiration takes carbohydrates and oxygen and combines them to produce carbon dioxide, water, and energy. Photosynthesis (6CO + 12H O + Light Energy C H O + 6O +6H O) takes carbon dioxide and water and produces carbohydrates and oxygen. The outputs of respiration are the inputs of photosynthesis, and the outputs of photosynthesis are the inputs of respiration. The reactions are also complementary in the way they deal with energy. Photosynthesis takes energy from the sun and stores it in the carbon-carbon bonds of carbohydrates; respiration releases that energy. Both plants and animals carry on respiration, but only plants and other producers can carry on photosynthesis. The chief reservoirs for carbon dioxide are in the oceans and in rock. Carbon dioxide dissolves readily in water. Once there, it may precipitate as a solid rock known as calcium carbonate. Corals and algae encourage this reaction and build up limestone reefs in the process. On land and in the water, plants take up carbon dioxide and convert it into carbohydrates through photosynthesis. This carbon in the plants now has 3 possible endings. It can be returned to the atmosphere by the plant through respiration; it can be eaten by an animal, or it can be present in the plant when the plant dies. Animals obtain all their carbon in their food, and, thus, all carbon