Jump to this Static Visualization »
Scales and Processes of the Global Carbon Cycle
https://public.ornl.gov/site/gallery/detail.cfm?id=196&topic=51&citation=&general=&restsection=public

Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Information System (BERIS)

This static visualization shows that the global carbon cycle is determined by the interactions of climate, the environment, and Earth's living systems at many levels, from molecular to global.

Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Life—including microbes, plants, and animals and humans—is a major driver of the global carbon cycle and can influence global climate by modifying the chemical makeup of the atmosphere. The geologic record shows that life has significantly altered the atmosphere during Earth’s history.
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Energy Literacy

Earth is constantly changing as energy flows through the system.
Other materials addressing:
2.1 Changes in energy flow over time.
Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy.
Other materials addressing:
2.5 Energy moves between reservoirs.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .
Ecosystems are affected by changes in the availability of energy and matter.
Other materials addressing:
3.5 Ecosystems are affected by availability of energy..
Biological processes depend on energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
Biological processes depend on energy flow.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This image can be used when teaching the carbon cycle in a high school or college level biology course.

About the Science

  • Good visual for examining the interconnections between Earth science systems and biological systems.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Visualization is rich with terminology, which will need unpacking with students to ensure understanding of connections.
  • Can be used in sections rather than whole diagram.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Can view full size image online, expand a section with magnifier, or can download print-quality version.

Jump to this Static Visualization »



Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply