2.1: Moving Carbon
What are ways to monitor and model the movement of carbon in the Earth system?
You have been studying the carbon cycle and how this relates to climate. You used some models to start to understand how carbon in CO2 moves between the atmosphere and oceans. But you also know that there must be more specific connections between the carbon cycle and the biosphere. The biosphere is all the animals, plants, and other living organisms on Earth. This includes you! Studying these forms of carbon helps you learn more about how and why carbon cycling occurs on Earth. This is the focus of Unit 2. In Lesson 2.1, you will learn that:
Next, you'll do a set of quick activities that relate to carbon cycling and the biosphere.
In Unit 1, you used BTB indicator to "see" whether carbon was moving in or out of water. You know that you have carbon in your body, but do you have "carbon breath"?! Listen to your teacher as he or she explains an activity that you will do with a partner.
|Investigation in Lesson 1.1||Color change with BTB in solution||Carbon movement||Change in acidity||Change in pH|
|Seltzer water||Yellow → blue (or blue-green)||Carbon out of water; carbon decreases|
|Dry ice (solid CO2) above water||Blue → yellow||Carbon into water; carbon increases|
Processes in organisms and ecosystems on Earth are critical for learning about patterns of carbon cycling. In the last section, you explored one carbon-moving process for organisms like you. Did anyone have carbon breath? In the steps below, you'll explore other processes and settings where carbon moves.
The video also shows combustion. Watch the video and then answer the questions about combustion.
Your focus for Unit 2 is carbon in the present, and how carbon cycles around Earth. You have seen some examples of processes that move carbon. You have done this for test-tube-sized changes, as well as global changes, such as with the AIRS CO2 data. In Unit 3, you will explore how these processes are a key to understanding climate. But first, complete the questions below with a partner. They will help you summarize carbon processes you will explore in Unit 2.
|Your Carbon Investigation||What You Saw||Arrow Number in Box Diagram|
|Breathing into water with BTB indicator|
|Plants growing larger from seeds|
|Leaves decaying and decomposing|
|Burning of plant matter (combustion)|
|CO2 levels increasing and decreasing in the atmosphere|
|Unit 1: CO2 from dry ice into water|
|Unit 1: CO2 out of seltzer water|