Human Impact on the Carbon Cycle
As the winter holidays near, you hear several neighborhood children complain about the lack of snow in your area. You realize it has been a bit warmer this season. In fact, as you think about the weather a bit longer, you realize you did not have much snow last year, either. Is this what scientists are talking about when they refer to global warming?
Global warming is a popular topic in today’s media. In spite of this wealth of information, it may be difficult to understand what global warming is, the science that explains it, and its impact on the survival of living organisms on the Earth.
For both this week’s Discussion and Assignment, you have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of global warming and its relationship to the carbon cycle on which all living things depend. For this week’s Discussion, you explore global warming’s correlation with CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in the Earth’s atmosphere and evaluate how your own activities, as well as human activity, in general, influence the carbon cycle.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review Chapter 5, “Life in the Greenhouse” in Biology: Science for Life, and focus on the following:
What the greenhouse effect is
How water, heat, and temperature are related
What CO2 is and how its amount in the atmosphere is changing
How CO2 levels correlate with global warming