Carbon Cycle
Updated: 3/10/2020
Carbon Cycle
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Storyboard Description

The carbon cycle is the process in which carbon travels from the atmosphere into organisms and the Earth and then back into the atmosphere. Carbon is also a part of the ocean, air, and even rocks. Because the Earth is a dynamic place, carbon does not stay still but it's on the move. In the atmosphere, carbon is attached to some oxygen in a gas called carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to make their own food and grow. The carbon becomes part of the plant. Plants that die and are buried may turn into fossil fuels made of carbon like coal and oil over millions of years. when humans burn fossil fuels, most of the carbon quickly enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Without it, the Earth would be a frozen world. But humans have burned so much fuel that there is about 30% more carbon dioxide in the air today than there was about 150 years ago, and Earth is becoming a warmer place. In fact, ice cores show us that there is now more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been in the last 420,000 years. Also, animals eat food and carbon is stored in their bodies or released as CO2 through respiration.

Storyboard Text

  • Atmosphere
  • when we exhale, we release carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plants have a process called photosynthesis that enables them to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and combine it with water. Then using the energy of the sun, it makes oxygen.
  • Respiration
  • Animals take in oxygen from plants and use it for cellular respiration
  • Dissolving
  • Oceans take Co2 from the atmosphere, then it is used to build shells of marine organisms.
  • Combustion
  • Humans burn fossil fuels to power factories, power plants, cars, and trucks, most of the carbon enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas.
  • Death and decomposition
  • Carbon dioxide is given off when plants and animals die. This occurs when bacteria and fungi break down dead plants and animals and release the carbon that's left in them.
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