The global carbon cycle is currently the topic of great interest because of its importance in the global climate system and also because human activities are altering the carbon cycle to a significant degree. III. II. The Global Carbon Cycle . Carbon Cycle Budget Estimates. Earth’s global carbon cycle includes major carbon sinks and sources. Research on the global carbon cycle has met more complexity than expected. Introduction and History . Carbon over last 200 Kyr. Carbon Cycle Processes. Read more. Carbon is unquestionably one of the most important elements on Earth. (Inset diagrams show key processes in the carbon cycle, such as plant and microbial … The schematic shows the major reservoirs of carbon in gigatons of carbon, GtC (1 GtC = 1 PgC: Petagram of Carbon) and the major fluxes in GtC/yr. Carbon helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature, makes all life possible, is a key ingredient in the food that sustains us, and provides a major source of the energy to fuel our global economy. V. Modeling the Long-Term Carbon Cycle . Changes to the carbon cycle. How much progress has been made in understanding the global carbon cycle over the past 15 years? Diagram of Global Carbon Cycle. The carbon cycle is a complex system of biological, chemical and physical processes. Then students are introduced to the carbon cycle and create a simple model to diagram their understanding of carbon’s movements through Earth’s four major reservoirs: biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Students use labels and arrows to represent processes that move carbon from one reservoir to another. Short-Term Carbon Cycle Models. The numbers shown are the best estimates for the 1990’s. Global plant growth surging alongside carbon dioxide. A trace gas present in the atmosphere in miniscule amounts is helping scientists answer one of the biggest questions out there: Has plant growth increased alongside rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Mauna Loa Record. IV. Carbon over last 1000 yr. Human activities have a tremendous impact on the carbon cycle. A schematic from the IPCC AR4 report is shown here. Modeling Carbon Isotopes.

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