Carbon is all around us. It makes up a part of the air we breathe, the foods we eat, and it’s the basis of our own bodies. Life on earth is built around the element carbon, and that’s why we’re called carbon-based life forms. With all the living things on earth depending on carbon, what if it runs out? Luckily, carbon is always being recycled naturally in the environment. Let’s take a look at the carbon cycle and examine the amount of carbon that passes through our everyday lives.
In this lesson you will:
- Analyze graphs of carbon dioxide levels over time and find patterns in the data
- Examine maps and graphs of carbon dioxide output around the world
- Calculate how much carbon plants store through photosynthesis
Photo: Distribution of vegetation on land and phytoplankton in the ocean that absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis: NASA Earth Observatory