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You may wish to review the characteristics of these six items before students begin playing the game.
Links to Windows to the Universe content pages about these areas are provided within the game and are also provided in the list below.
Eventually, tectonic processes of high heat and pressure transform these sediments into limestone.
This process locks massive amounts of carbon away for millions of years.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Carbon is the 6th element in the periodic table.
Let's begin by looking at the detailed illustration of the ocean carbon cycle on the right. Although quite complex, you will see carbon cycle processes and biosphere components similiar to those you learned about when you studied the terrestrial carbon cycle in prior Labs.
Living things, including plants and animals, are made of carbon and the depend of carbon for nutrition.
Carbon is also an important component in bones, sea shells, and chemical sedimentary rocks like limestone. In the atmosphere, carbon forms a greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide.
These reservoirs, often known as deep carbon sinks, remove carbon from circulation through other parts of the carbon cycle for such long amounts of time that they are sometimes considered an extension of the carbon cycle called the "slow carbon cycle".
For simplicity, the deep carbon sinks have been omitted from this interactive, however they are a very important part of the long-term cycle.
The basic construction of these cycles allows middle school students to explore the connections between living and non-living parts of the Earth system.