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Carbon Cycle



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Carbon Dioxide In, Oxygen Out
Photograph by Peter Essick

Every living plant in a luxuriant patch of Puerto Rican rain forest devotes day and night to inhaling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and soil, their sources of life's most basic element—carbon. The crucial biological cycling of carbon depends on photosynthesis, the process through which plants use the energy of the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into the carbon-based carbohydrates they need to create tissue. This chemical reaction frees oxygen, releasing it to the atmosphere for animals to breathe. By locking up carbon in their tissues, often for decades, plants help regulate the carbon cycle.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1V
Film Type: Unrecorded
Lens: 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/2 @ f/11
Weather Conditions: Cloudy
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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