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Carbon cycle HTML5


This animation of the carbon cycle shows the exchanges of carbon dioxide between the planet’s 4 natural reservoirs (atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere). Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The natural carbon cycle is balanced.
Human activities (industrialization, deforestation, combustion of fossil fuels) alter these exchanges and are at the origin of an excess of waste CO₂ in our atmosphere. Only 50% of these wastes are absorbed by natural carbon wells (biomass and ocean).

Click in a reservoir to enlarge it and find details of exchanges there.

Learning goals

  • To illustrate the imbalance created by human activities.
  • To specify the orders of magnitude involved.

Learn more

The atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere make up the four great reservoirs of the Earth.  The quantities and the phenomena  in play evolve at very different rates.  Since the…

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