Talk:Carbon Cycle

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Hi, what we all need to understand is that human activity is the single biggest reason for rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Charles Keeling, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, is responsible for creating the longest continuous record of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, taken at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. His data (now widely known as the “Keeling curve,” shown in Figure 2) revealed that human activities are significantly altering the natural carbon cycle. Since the onset of the industrial revolution about 150 years ago, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have accelerated, and both have contributed to a long-term rise in atmospheric CO2. Burning oil and coal releases carbon into the atmosphere far more rapidly than it is being removed, and this imbalance causes atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to increase. In addition, by clearing forests, we reduce the ability of photosynthesis to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, also resulting in a net increase.