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Carbon Cycle

Written by Andrew Clark, IGES

On November 12, 2015, NASA released cutting-edge visualizations related to one of Earth's key cyclical flows of energy and matter: the carbon cycle. As global atmospheric carbon increases, the carbon cycle will play a leading role in the future of climate. Give your students a front-row seat to the frontiers of science by bringing these visualizations into the classroom with the help of NASA Wavelength.

On November 19, 2015, NASA invites you and your class (recommended audience - ages 16 and older) to join a live streaming event featuring NASA and university scientists answering your questions about the state of the global carbon cycle and its likely future. Simply #AskAscientist. If you can't participate, don't worry - it will be recorded for later viewing and replayed on NASA's Digital Learning Network. The webcast will be made available at

On November 20, 2015, view the latest NASA Live Shot interview, which will feature an unprecedented global picture of carbon dioxide and scientists answering questions about the findings. Return to this blog post for links to the visualizations, videos, and live stream event when they are released, and get ready for the releases with the helpful techniques and lessons below.

With the Earth Right Now Campaign, invite your students to follow the news, using techniques like guided reading questions, pair-share, 3-2-1, and group discussion. These techniques are covered in more detail in this previous blog post.

NASA Wavelength has curated collections of relevant resources on the carbon cycle for Middle School and High School students. The activities and exercises cover a broad range of skills and topics - from learning about the importance of carbon to estimating the scale of carbon reservoirs to predicting the effects of changing carbon levels. This multimedia gallery includes a carbon calculator, a carbon quiz, and more.

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