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We present a minimal model for the global carbon cycle of the Earth containing the reservoirs mantle, ocean floor, continental crust, biosphere, and the kerogen, as well as the combined ocean and atmosphere reservoir. The model is specified by introducing three different types of biosphere: procaryotes, eucaryotes, and complex multicellular life. During the entire existence of the biosphere procaryotes are always present. 2 Gyr ago eucaryotic life first appears. The emergence of complexdoi:10.5194/bg-3-85-2006 fatcat:qftitsuqp5e7fldoye3si7kuiy