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Carbon (from Latin: carbo "coal") is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. On the periodic table, it is the first (row 2) of six elements in column (group 14), which have in common the composition of their outer electron shell. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent - making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. Three isotopes occur naturally, 12C and 13C being stable while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.
(Source: Library Lyna)
Illustration showing the carbon cycle using animals and plants.
Figure 2.27 (OpenStax, Biology 2e) caption: These functional groups are in many different biological molecules. R, also known as R-group, is an abbreviation for any group in which a carbon or hydrogen atom is attached to the rest of the molecule.
The scientific explanation of global warming rests in the understand of the element carbon. Carbon is the central element of life, and its atomic structure enables it to hold onto other elements. This characteristic provides the relationship between carbon and global warming. Segment of video from Wild Chronicles Series.
Black carbon is the fancy name for soot, and it is causing changes in the Arctic climate. It comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Studies suggest that black carbon is contributing to the acceleration of sea ice melting in the Arctic, and the loss of this ice would lead to more rapid warming and possibly irreversible climate change.
Carbon is the basis of all organic molecules. It is also one of the most abundant elements in the universe. This video segment illustrates the special characteristics of carbon that make it an essential ingredient for life.
In this episode, Pinky and Petunia introduce the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Both elements are always on the move and are constantly being converted from one form to another, which is essential for all living things. Part of "The Amoeba Sisters" series.
Experiments show the production and properties of carbon dioxide and its use as a fire extinguisher. The second part demonstrates the effect of surface area, temperature, and concentration on chemical reaction rates.
Seagrass beds provide an array of services to both humans and animals. Dr. Randall Hughes studies the seagrass beds of Saint Joseph Bay to better understand these services. She also notes the decline of this important ecosystem. Part of the series "In The Grass, On The Reef."
Figure 2.7 (OpenStax, Biology 2e) caption: Bohr diagrams indicate how many electrons fill each principal shell. Group 18 elements (helium, neon, and argon) have a full outer, or valence, shell. A full valence shell is the most stable electron configuration. Elements in other groups have partially filled valence shells and gain or lose electrons to achieve a stable electron configuration.
Figure 2.23 (OpenStax, Biology 2e) caption: Carbon can form five- and six-membered rings. Single or double bonds may connect the carbons in the ring, and nitrogen may be substituted for carbon.
Calvin cycle showing how carbon dioxide and other compounds are converted into glucose.
Humanity's appetite for the earth's resources and consumer goods has led to increased levels of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, trapping more heat from the sun, and leading to the warming of the atmosphere. Argues that action could and should be taken at both international and political levels. Also addresses the question of what each individual can do to reduce his/her use of nonrenewable energy sources and lower each personal "carbon footprint" on the planet.
Since the last ice age, plants in the Alaskan Arctic have been taking carbon out of the atmosphere and locking it away in the soil. But now, the permafrost is starting to thaw. That means all those microbes are about to find themselves at an all-you-can-eat carbon buffet. With support from the National Science Foundation, ecologist Matthew Wallenstein and a team from Colorado State University have come to the Toolik Field Station, deep inside the Arctic Circle, to drill soil cores for study. The researchers are trying to find out more about how microbes in the soil are cycling carbon from the Earth to the atmosphere. Part of the National Science Foundation Series “Science Nation.”
Showing collections 1 to 4 of 4
A collection of Chemistry related resources
A collection containing 67 resources, curated by Benetech
Biology related concepts
A collection containing 59 resources, curated by Benetech
3D models and images of the entire periodic table of elements
A collection containing 118 resources, curated by Library Lyna
A collection of simulations from PhET.
A collection containing 15 resources, curated by Charles LaPierre