In this activity, students explore the role of combustion in the carbon cycle. They learn that carbon flows among reservoirs on Earth through processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, combustion, and decomposition, and that combustion of fossil fuels is causing an imbalance. This activity is one in a series of 9 activities.

This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon pathways through the Earth system.

This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.

This video highlights the work of climate scientists in the Amazon who research the relationship between deforestation, construction of new dams, and increased amounts of greenhouse gases being exchanged between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

This activity describes the flow of carbon in the environment and focuses on how much carbon is stored in trees. It goes on to have students analyze data and make calculations about the amount of carbon stored in a set of trees at three sites in a wooded area that were to be cut down to build a college dormitory.

In this activity, students learn how carbon cycles through the Earth system by playing an online game.

This article and slide show from the New York Times, features several scientists from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who study the effects of thawing permafrost in Alaska.

This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

In this lab activity, students use a chemical indicator (bromothymol blue) to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in animal and plant respiration and in the burning of fossil fuels and its absence in the products of plant photosynthesis. After completing the five parts of this activity, students compare the colors of the chemical indicator in each part and interpret the results in terms of the qualitative importance of carbon sinks and sources.

This interactive shows the different components of the ocean biological pump, i.e., how carbon in the form of either plankton or particles moves into the ocean's depths. It illustrates the situation at the surface, 0-100 meters, 100-500 meters, and below 500 meters.