Carbon is an extremely astounding element and it is simply everywhere. Carbon was never really discovered; the people from ancient times just knew of the black powdery remnants from the fire and that was it. What they did not know was that humans themselves contain carbon. It is what makes up our many systems, organs, cells and organelles. Even plants require carbon; without it, plants will cease to exist as they treat carbon as their most important element. Not only is carbon the 4th most abundant element on the whole entire universe but it is also the element that hold the highest melting point. The purpose of this essay is to further study and analyse the subject of carbon. Some of the topic questions that will be discussed are what is carbon? How is the increase of carbon affecting climate change? And why should we reduce our carbon footprint?
Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and an atomic number 6. It is a non-metal element and has a half-life (the time it takes to decay and turn into a different element) of 5,730 years. Carbon comes in three ways; graphite (this is the silvery tip of pencils), diamond, and amorphous carbon. Diamonds are created when carbon is left in a very high pressure are. This happens when all the atoms are pushed together; this clear crystal-like mineral does not melt when reaching it boiling point, instead, it diverts straight to the gas state. Common fuels such as coal, charcoal and soots are considered amorphous carbon. Carbon is considered a ‘magic element’ on earth as it makes up a lot of things. This includes our bodies, carbon is nearly every biological compound that makes up our bodies (this includes systems, organs cells and organelles). CO2 is breathed out by animals and is consumed back in to plants by a special process. (Refer to diagram 1)
Different life styles have different affects in the environment, global warming is one of the consequences of the constant extension of green houses. An ecological foot print is the scale impact that scientists have developed in order to number the scale that we have on the environment. It can also be the measurement of how much biologically productive land our activities require. When we breathe out carbon dioxide, plants take there through their leaves in which they merge it with water to make a sugar that they use to grow. This unique process is called photosynthesis. This can become unbalanced when there is too much CO2.The green house effect consists of trapping the sun’s warmth on the earth’s lower atmosphere. Since the green house gasses cannot escape, they stay in our atmosphere and gather heat from the sun, making our environment warmer. This then triggers chain effects all around the earth. (Refer to diagram 2)
Carbon foot print is the term used to describe the total amount of green house gasses that an individual emits. It is measured in metric tonnes per year with the average of 11.3 t a person. It is vital that we reduce our carbon footprint so that we can reduce carbon