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The Carbon Cycle

Maree Lucas, West Virginia University Online

This interactive graphic outlines the carbon cycle, with clickable text boxes that explain and elaborate each component.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is controlled by biogeochemical cycles that continually move these components between their ocean, land, life, and atmosphere reservoirs. The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant biomass and is increased through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels as well as through other processes.
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d

Energy Literacy

Fossil and bio fuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
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4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy.
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2.5 Energy moves between reservoirs.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This is a good, uncomplicated carbon cycle interactive to use with any lesson on the carbon cycle. It would be especially useful for middle school. Educator could use the text on fossil fuels to explain the differences in how oil, coal and gas are formed.

About the Science

  • Students interact with various components of the carbon cycle. Some of the science may be overly simplistic - especially information about fossil fuels.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Goes through all aspects of the carbon cycle and relates them. Simple animations aid with understanding and are fun to view. Some parts are well explained for the average person.

About the Pedagogy

  • Written for middle school students and uses clear, uncluttered language.
  • Students can begin at any stage, which reinforces the idea that there is no beginning or endpoint to the cycle.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good technical quality.

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