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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus


Biology Driving Climate

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  • This text discusses how biological organisms influence the global carbon cycle, especially focusing on how different conditions during the Carboniferous period influenced historic carbon sinks.
  • Students will learn how organic life, forests, and trees play into larger climate systems and the carbon cycle.
  • A helpful infographic details the carbon cycle in which trees turn into fossil fuels and then, with human extraction and burning of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
Teaching Tips


  • Students gain a deep history of global carbon sinks and sources by considering climate conditions back to the Carboniferous period.
  • The text provides a thorough explanation of the role trees and organic material play in the global carbon cycle.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have an understanding of how trees can be considered a sink for carbon dioxide and the burning of fossil fuels serve as a source of carbon dioxide emissions.


  • Consider discussing different organisms that were present throughout the history of the planet. Discuss how humans have influenced the global carbon cycle through activities like the burning of fossil fuels.
Scientist Notes
The resource explores isotopic processes and changes in the biological carbon cycle in geologic periods. There was, however, a shift that influenced the climate system. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
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