2 What Is Carbon? Carbon (C) is an element All things (matter) are made of elementsCarbon is the most important element found in ALL LIFE
3 Carbon CycleBecause carbon sticks easily to other elements, it is constantly movingThe same carbon atoms are used repeatedly on earth.They cycle between the different spheres of Earth
4 What are the spheres of Earth? Earth is divided up into four main spheres:
5 The AtmosphereThe atmosphere is the layer of gases surrounding the Earth
6 The HydrosphereThe hydrosphere is anywhere that water exists on Earth (the Water Cycle)
7 The GeosphereThe Geosphere (also known as Lithosphere) is all the solid parts of the Earth
8 The BiosphereThe Biosphere is anywhere on Earth that life exists
9 Processes that Transfer Carbon Between Earth’s Systems (Spheres)- Photosynthesis- Consumption- Respiration- Decomposition- Combustion- Weathering- Degassing- Dissolution
10 PhotosynthesisPlants use energy, water and carbon dioxide to produce their own food in a process called photosynthesis
11 ConsumptionWhen primary consumers eat plants, they eat the carbon as well.If a secondary consumer eats a primary consumer, the carbon is also transferred
12 Respiration Animals breathe out carbon through respiration Plants release a bit of carbon as well
13 DecompositionWhen plants and animals die, most of their bodies are broken down and the carbon in their bodies is returned to the atmosphere.Some carbon is not decomposed fully and end up in the geosphere underground (soil, oil, coal, etc.) or at the bottom of ocean.
14 Combustion (Burning)Forest and grass fires are a natural, required part of the carbon cycle that release carbon into the atmosphere and geosphere.Fire returns carbon to the soil and “cleans out” unhealthy plants, allowing new plants to grow.
15 WeatheringCarbon in rocks and underground is released very slowly into the atmosphere.This process takes many years
16 DegassingWhen carbon dioxide in the ocean comes under pressure, it is sometimes released into the atmosphere
17 DissolutionCarbon dioxide in the atmosphere sometimes dissolves into the ocean (especially if the water is cold)
19 Activity #1You will now act as Carbon atoms in the Carbon Cycle (before the arrival of humans)Like Carbon, you will move between different spheresKeep track of the places you visit and record the process that got you there.
20 The Industrial Revolution A time when humans started making things in factoriesFactories needed powerTo get this power humans would burn coal, which released a lot of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere
21 Activity #2You will now act as Carbon atoms in the Carbon Cycle (since the arrival of humans)Like Carbon, you will move between different spheresKeep track of the places you visit and record the process that got you there.
22 Conclusion Questions1. Compare your journey in Activity #1 (before humans) with your journey in Activity #2 (since humans). What were the similarities and differences?2. What effect does too much carbon in the atmosphere and ocean?3. If too much Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a problem, what are some ways we could reduce it?