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Carbon Cycle

Carbon is the building block of life and constantly changes form as it is recycled by living and nonliving systems.

Atoms Practice
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The Big Green Marble?

The Big Green Marble?

Terraced rice field in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam.

Oh Yes, I'll Take More Green

Some people call the Earth the Big Blue Marble. This phrase came about after people went into space, looked back at the Earth, and it looked like....well...a big blue marble. This was from a combination of the clouds and the oceans. But as time marches forward, people are thinking maybe we need to think about the green more, if we want to keep the blue.

No Duh's and Head Scratchers

If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. Why is summer in the Northern hemisphere a good time for carbon absorption? Has this always been the case? Why or why not?
  2. How do plants release carbon? Why is the carbon released through fossil fuel burning different than the carbon released by plants? Why are fossil fuels complicating the carbon cycle?
  3. How do plants take up carbon? Why does the equator take up less carbon that the Northern Hemisphere, even though the equator receives more sunlight? Think carefully before answering. What does this situation tell you about the carbon cycle in general?

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