What is the carbon cycle?

WHAT IS THE CARBON CYCLE?

Carbon is an ‘element’. This is a type of atom that has specific properties. Atoms are the building blocks of matter. Everything you can see and feel is made of atoms. Carbon is a type of these atoms. Carbon makes up an important part in all living things. All living things contain carbon. But carbon is also in many other things, such as soot or coal. Nature recycles this carbon. This process of reusing carbon for different things is called the carbon cycle.

WHAT IS THE CARBON CYCLE?

Carbon enters the air as Carbon dioxide. This happens because when we breathe we release carbon dioxide. This also happens through the decay and rotting of stuff and through burning. Although too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a bad thing and can cause issues, some carbon dioxide in the air is important to sustain life.

Trees and other plants then absorb the carbon dioxide and process it through a process called ‘photosynthesis’. This removes the carbon dioxide from the air and stores the carbon part in the trees and plants. The trees and plants are eaten, and the carbon is processed and absorbed by other animals and humans. Carbon is then breathed out or released when the bodies decay after death. This gets back to the start of the cycle. This process repeats.

JENNA ELLIOTT

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