Weather & Climate | VOL. 11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

The Carbon Cycle

Carbon, an essential element, occurs in organic substances such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and nucleic acids such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Most carbon on Earth was originally released from the interior of the Earth as gaseous carbon dioxide, which now constitutes about 0.03-0.04 per cent by volume of the air. This gas helps insulate the Earth, retaining enough of the Sun’s heat to keep the planet warm and sustain life. Carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis by plants to make...

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