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Carbon Cycle Vocabulary
Terms in this set (17)
an atmospheric heating phenomenon, caused by short-wave solar radiation being readily transmitted inward through the earth's atmosphere but longer-wavelength heat radiation less readily transmitted outward, owing to its absorption by atmospheric carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and other gases; thus, the rising level of carbon dioxide is viewed with concern.
A significant change in the Earth's climate. The Earth is currently getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The term "global warming" refers to warmer temperatures, while "climate change" refers to the broader set of changes that go along with warmer temperatures, including changes in weather patterns, the oceans, ice and snow, and ecosystems around the world.
An increase in temperature near the surface of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural causes. However, the term is most often used to refer to recent and ongoing warming caused by people's activities. Global warming leads to a bigger set of changes referred to as global climate change.
A chemical element that is essential to all living things. Carbon combines with other elements to form a variety of different compounds. Plants and animals are made up of carbon compounds, and so are certain minerals. Carbon combines with oxygen to make a gas called carbon dioxide.
A colorless, odorless greenhouse gas. It is produced naturally when dead animals or plants decay, and it is used by plants during photosynthesis. People are adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, mostly by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. This extra carbon dioxide is the main cause of climate change.
The movement and exchange of carbon through living organisms, the ocean, the atmosphere, rocks and minerals, and other parts of the Earth. Carbon moves from one place to another through various chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
areas of vegetation, especially forests, and the phytoplankton-rich seas that absorb the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels
Anything that produces carbon
The process by which plants take in CO2 and release O2.
When animals take in O2 and consume food and release CO2 as a waste product.
Carbon moving throughout animals and plants by consumption; a series of organisms interrelated in their feeding habits, the smallest being fed upon by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc.
A type of fuel that forms deep within the Earth. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels are created over millions of years as dead plant and animal material becomes trapped and buried in layers of rock, and heat and pressure transform this material into a fuel. All fossil fuels contain carbon, and when people burn these fuels to produce energy, they create carbon dioxide.
the act or process of burning; burning (fossil fuel)
A mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases that surrounds the Earth. The atmosphere is critical to supporting life on Earth.
the ecosystem comprising the entire earth and the living organisms that inhabit it.
the water on or surrounding the surface of the globe, including the water of the oceans and the water in the atmosphere.
the ecosystem that includes all of earth's rock and layers of non-living things
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