Carbon Cycle

Carbon is one of the main components of all living things and the carbon cycle is key to sustaining life on Earth. Carbon is found in major sinks, such as in the atmosphere, in biological mass, on land and in the ocean. Carbon sinks include sediments, such as fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form from decaying organic matter. This is why fossil fuels are considered a non-renewable resource. When carbon is connected to two oxygen molecules it makes up carbon dioxide, which produces the essential greenhouse effect in our atmosphere by essentially trapping the sun’s warmth. However, people burning fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, which began a very short time ago around 1850, has caused the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere to increase dramatically by about forty per cent globally. This is exacerbating the greenhouse effect and causing the Earth to warm at an alarming rate. It is also altering climate patterns around the world and disturbing essential ecological systems and ocean chemistry. 

People can experience eco-anxiety over the magnitude of problems related to loss of biodiversity and habitats, and the impacts of global warming. Educators can encourage their students and each other to channel these difficult emotions in eco-action – which supports our well-being and helps the planet! Youth are leading the climate action movement around the world to demand that governments, industries, corporations, countries and people take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming and environmental destruction. For more information about alternate energy sources, go to The Energy Game on this website.

In the Carbon Cycle Eco-Game, students are introduced to the major carbon sinks on the planet, and the greenhouse effect increasing global warming from human activity caused by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere via the combustion of fossil fuels. On the virtual choice board below, students can click on the keys to unlock strategies for taking climate action.

Click on the image below to get started.  Make a Copy and you can edit it to suit your work with your students. Thank you.

Climate change is related to carbon dioxide emissions, which is why the images on the Carbon Cycle Eco-game cards are weather symbols. Which weather phenomena do they represent? Find out the secret environmental message of the Carbon Cycle Eco-Game by cracking the code! For complete instructions, get Eco-Games for FREE: Teachers Pay Teachers Eco-Games

Here are some book suggestions for a wide range to help students of all ages learn more about global warming, climate action and justice.