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Carbon cycle

Carbon cycle

Carbon is bound in organic substances during photosynthesis, while during breathing, it is released into the atmosphere.

Geography

Keywords

coal, cycle, carbon dioxide, carbon binding, carbon emission, photosynthesis, energy production, decomposition, respiration, weathering, combustion, carbon compounds, carbon-rich sediments, hydrocarbon, animal, plant, soil, methane, carbonates, hydrogen carbonates, volcano, living organism, biology, geography

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Definitions of terms:

Carbon: a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. Carbon is known and has been used since antiquity. In nature it occurs both in its elemental and chemically bonded forms.
Most of carbon is found in bonded form as carbonate mineral (e.g. limestone, magnesite, dolomite). In water it is present as dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate. Natural carbon is mostly organic.
Coal is not an elemental carbon but rather a diverse mixture of carbon compounds. Crude oil and natural gas are primarily made up of various hydrocarbon compounds. A diamond is a carbon arranged in a crystal structure found in volcanic rocks. Carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere in large amounts. Carbon is also a component of the organic matter of living organisms.

Photosynthesis: the life processes inside plants, algae and certain bacteria that convert inorganic matters into organic matter by the light energy from the Sun.

Autotrophs: organisms that produce organic compounds from inorganic matter (carbon dioxide, water, ions). Autotrophs include plants, which utilize atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis.

Heterotrophs: living organisms that obtain organic matter to produce their own organic matter. Heterotrophs include the kingdoms of Animalia and Fungi.

Greenhouse effect: the retention of heat in the atmosphere. Solar radiation is re-radiated from the surface into the atmosphere. A part of the re-radiated energy cannot escape the atmosphere since a 'wall', the atmospheric greenhouse gases, do not let it escape. This energy portion is therefore re-radiated to the planetary surface.
Without this phenomenon the average temperature on Earth would be around 40 °C (104 °F) cooler. Due to human activities, carbon dioxide levels increase, which contributes to greenhouse gas emission and may cause global warming.

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Oxygen cycle

The oxygen cycle describes the movement of oxygen within its three main reservoirs.

The phosphorus cycle

The phosphorus cycle describes the movement of phosphorus through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.

The water cycle (intermediate)

Water on Earth is in a continuous state of change. The water cycle includes processes such as evaporation, precipitation, melting and freezing.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) (beginner)

Colorless, odorless, heavier-than-air gas. Necessary for the photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) (intermediate)

Colorless, odorless, heavier-than-air gas. Necessary for the photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon monoxide (CO) (intermediate)

Colorless, odorless gas, highly toxic to humans and animals in high concentration.

Carbonic acid (H₂CO₃)

Colorless, odorless liquid produced by dissolving carbon dioxide in water.

Deforestation

Deforestation has a negative impact on the environment.

House without carbon-dioxide emission

The design and structure of modern houses play an important role in environmental protection.

Photosynthesis

Plants are capable of converting inorganic substances (carbon dioxide and water) into organic sugar.

Underground coal mining

As opposed to opencast mines, in underground mines the layers covering coal are not removed, coal is extracted from mine shafts.

Volcanic activity

This animation demonstrates different types of volcanic eruptions.

Formation of stratovolcanoes

Stratovolcanoes consist of layers of volcanic ash, debris and lava.

The water cycle (basic)

Water on Earth is in a continuous state of change. The water cycle includes processes such as evaporation, precipitation, melting and freezing.

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