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Which of the following is the largest reservoir of carbon?
A. Soil
B. Atmosphere
C. Ocean
D. Sedimentary rocks

Last updated date: 14th Jun 2024
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Hint: Carbon is an element. It is denoted by the symbol C. It has an atomic number of 6, which means that it has 6 protons in its nucleus. Moreover, its atomic mass is 12. Carbon is found almost everywhere in the universe in various kinds of forms and compounds. Here, the reservoir refers to the huge collection of carbon.

Complete answer: Carbon is a nonmetallic element. It is tetravalent in nature which means that it has four electrons available to participate in the process of bonding and form covalent bonds. Carbon makes up about \[0.025\% \] of the crust of the Earth. Carbon is the fifteenth most abundant element in the crust of the Earth. It is also the fourth most abundant element in the universe in terms of mass after Hydrogen, Helium, and Oxygen. It is found in all life forms. Not only this but it is the second most abundant element in the bodies of humans in terms of mass. Carbon is found almost everywhere on the Earth in one form or another due to its diverse nature. Carbon is found in the atmosphere as a compound of carbon and oxygen known as Carbon dioxide. The atmosphere contains about 990 gigatons of carbon. The oceans and the water bodies contain 36,000 gigatons of carbon in the form of underwater sediments and rocks. The crust of Earth contains 550 gigatons of carbon. This comprises the biosphere of which soil is a part. Thus, based on the above information we can conclude that Ocean is the largest reservoir of carbon.
Hence, the correct answer is option (C).

Note: The carbon is known as the king of elements. This is because carbon can form the maximum number of compounds that are ever discovered for any element. This is due to the property of catenation. Carbon has various allotropes and it forms millions of organic compounds. Apart from that, it forms several inorganic compounds. Due to this reason, carbon occurs in abundance throughout the Earth and the Universe. It is believed that the core of the Earth contains more carbon than found anywhere else on the Earth. However, this is just an assumption.