The Habitable PlanetHabitable Planet home page

Interactive Labs

Carbon Lab

Lessons > Feedback Effects > For Your Consideration

As you have seen in this lab, despite the natural tendency of the carbon cycle to regulate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, the system is currently being overwhelmed by human fossil fuel combustion and deforestation. If this increase in atmospheric CO2 results in temperature rise as scientists predict, there are several possible factors that could cause feedback effects. If human beings are to mitigate these risks, they will have to take strong action soon.

In the Energy lab, you will explore the nature of some of the changes we could make in our global energy use and how these changes could affect our planet's delicate balance.

Thinking Ahead

What are some viable ways of lessening the effect that increased carbon has on the following?

  1. Impact on human life
  2. Destruction of the cycle
  3. Global warming
  4. Alteration/destruction of species, biomass

The carbon cycle is only one of many natural (and human "enhanced") cycles: hydrogen, water, nitrogen, and oxygen are some other cycles you may want to investigate. Think about how these cycles have changed due to human impact.

© Annenberg Foundation 2014. All rights reserved. Legal Policy