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Windows to the Universe based on data from NOAA and UCSD
The Carbon Cycle Changes
Carbon moves around the Earth through the carbon
cycle. It can move
between the atmosphere, the water, living things, and even rocks. Today,
the carbon cycle is changing. More carbon is moving into the atmosphere from
other parts of the Earth. It moves into the atmosphere when fuels like
coal and oil are burned. It moves into the atmosphere when
forests burn too.
The carbon in the atmosphere is a part of carbon
dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases keep heat in the atmosphere. With more carbon dioxide, Earth
is becoming warmer.
Carbon dioxide can spend hundreds
of years in the atmosphere. Over a long time, it can move slowly out of the atmosphere
and into plants. The plants take the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as
they make their food from the Sun’s energy. Carbon can also move
water or be stored in rocks. Scientists are studying
how carbon moves out of the atmosphere.
Last modified October 26, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.
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