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The Carbon Cycle. There can’t be life without it!. Chemistry of Carbon. Atomic Number 6 6 Protons 6 electrons 4 valence electrons. Because of it’s chemistry-. Carbon can bond in chains, rings and other bizarre configurations such as Buckeyeballs .

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the carbon cycle

The Carbon Cycle

There can’t be life without it!

chemistry of carbon
Chemistry of Carbon
  • Atomic Number 6
  • 6 Protons
  • 6 electrons
  • 4 valence electrons
because of it s chemistry
Because of it’s chemistry-
  • Carbon can bond in chains, rings and other bizarre configurations such as Buckeyeballs.

Because of its chemistry, all life as we know it is based upon this element.

  • Carbon must constantly be recycled in ecological systems
the carbon cycle1
The Carbon Cycle
  • Is really several cycles combined together
  • To simplify we can separate into terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) based cycles
photosynthesis and respiration
Photosynthesis and Respiration
  • What is the chemical equation for photosynthesis?
  • 6 CO2 +6H2O -- C6H12O6 + 6O2

What is the chemical equation for cellular respiration?

C6H12O6 + 6O2 6 CO2 +6H2O


Plants remove Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the process of respiration puts Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere.

  • Living things that get buried without decomposition can become fossil fuels
  • Land based – coal
  • Ocean based – oil and natural gas
how are human activities affecting the carbon cycle
How are Human Activities affecting the carbon Cycle?
  • Since 1800 and especially since 1950
    • World population has soared
    • World resource use has soared

We have intervened in the Earth’s Carbon cycle in two ways that add extra Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere

  • Clearing plants and trees that absorb CO2 through photosynthesis
  • Adding large amounts by burning fossil fuels and wood

Carbon Dioxide is one of several “greenhouse” gasses.

  • Models suggest that increases in Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will enhance the natural greenhouse effect