Carbon Cycle

The carbon cycle is a process where carbon dioxide travels from the atmosphere into living organisms and the Earth, then back into the atmosphere. Plants take carbon dioxide from the air along with water and photosynthesis from the sun and use it to make food. Animals then eat the food and carbon is stored in their bodies and released. Most of the carbon they consume is exhaled as carbon dioxide. The CO2 then is returned to the atmosphere where the plants use it again.

When dead plants, animals, and animal waste break down or decompose, they also release carbon dioxide as well, known as methane.

The carbon cycle is the Earth’s ultimate form of recycling and is a delicate balance. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and traps heat in our atmosphere. Burning more fossil fuels has created more than 30% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than 150 years ago – this is making the earth become warmer. Helping to keep our environment clean by burning fewer fossil fuels will assure this cycle keeps going for our future generations.