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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


The Global Carbon Cycle

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  • This interactive diagram of the carbon cycle explores the short-term and long-term carbon fluxes that occur in the water, the land, and the atmosphere.

Teaching Tips


  • As students move the cursor around the diagram the terms Short-Term Cycle, Long-Term Cycle, Ocean Cycle, and Human Contribution will appear and students can click on them to learn more about each topic.
  • Students can click "Show Numbers" in the upper lefthand corner of the diagram to view numerical data on the diagram.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The Instructions tab provides good background information on the interactive diagram.
  • Students should have a basic knowledge of the carbon cycle prior to using this resource.


  • Earth science classes could discuss how human contributions are disrupting the intricate balance of the carbon cycle and how this disruption has led to changes in Earth's other systems.
  • Students could work in small groups to learn about different aspects of the carbon cycle and make slideshow presentations to share what they learned with the rest of the class.
Scientist Notes
This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-3. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
      • HS-LS2-4. Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
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