Climate Change Lesson 4 : The Carbon Cycle : Sources and Sinks

Carbon Cycle Game

Through an online game, students learn how carbon cycles through Earth system. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

GLOBE Carbon Cycle

Developed by the University of New Hampshire, the GLOBE Carbon Cycle activities are divided into 5 categories. A general introduction to the carbon cycle and the four major methods that scientists use to study the carbon cycle (field measurements, modeling, experiments, and remote sensing). Activities have been designed so they can be performed separately or can be easily integrated to provide students with a comprehensive view of the local and global carbon cycle as well as an opportunity to ask their own questions and develop research projects. There is a useful background reading document for students at this site. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from


Housed at Western Michigan University, MichCarb is a center for research and education related to Geological Carbon Sequestration in Michigan. The center is funded by the Department of Energy. Retrieved July 11, 2018, from

Michigan Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The report presents an assessment of the State’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and anthropogenic sinks (carbon storage) from 1990 to 2025. The inventory and projections cover the six types of gases included in the US Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Retrieved February 27, 2012, from

Michigan State Environmental Literacy Project

As part of the Michigan State University Environmental Literacy Project, there are online units that can supplement this lesson. The Energy and Global Warming unit focuses on four significant aspects of human lifestyles: 1) transportation, 2) electricity, 3) housing, and 4) foods, goods, and services. The Carbon Cycling unit focuses in particular on helping students to see patterns in those processes that influence the relative amounts of atmospheric CO2 and organic carbon molecules in the carbon cycle. Retrieved July 11, 2018, from

NOAA Global Monitoring Education and Outreach

NOAA/ESRL’s Global Monitoring Division conducts sustained observations and research related to source and sink strengths, trends and global distributions of atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing change in the climate of Earth through modification of the atmospheric radiative environment. Their Education and Outreach site has a breadth of teacher resources such as material for student readings and lesson plans. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

NPR Climate Connections

Animated videos at this site entitled Global Warming: It’s all about Carbon might be appealing for some groups but preview them first. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

The Carbon Cycle Game

Based on a Project WET activity, students simulate a molecule of carbon’s movement throughout various locations within the carbon cycle. July 11, 2018, from

The Carbon Cycle Pursuit Game

All of the game pieces are online for the Carbon Cycle Pursuit Game developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Retrieved July 11, 2018, from

Trees and Carbon

One of The Environmental Science Activities for the 21st Century (ESA21) Project at Kennesaw State University looks at how much carbon is stored in a forest and how much would be released if the forest is burned or cut down and allowed to decay. It also looks at the process of photosynthesis. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

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