Carbon Travels

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Coal power plant, Kentucky

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  • Classroom Activities


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)


We find carbon everywhere on Earth ─ in trees, rocks, fossil fuels, oceans, and even you! Carbon doesn’t stay in one place, through. Scientists study how carbon moves from one place to another. This is the carbon cycle. The Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1700s, saw a move to large-scale manufacturing and the use of new technologies, such as steam power and electricity. This led to a huge increase in burning of carbon-rich fossil fuels, releasing into the atmosphere carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) that had been buried underground for millions of years. How did these human actions affect the carbon cycle?

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