Earth inhales and exhales carbon in mesmerizing animation -
Jan 13, 2022 1 min, 7 secs

The animation shows plants taking up and releasing carbon as the seasons change.

The Earth seems to inhale and exhale in a new animation that shows how carbon is taken up and released as the seasons change. .

What the animation ultimately shows is an important portion of the carbon cycle, or the flow of carbon throughout the planet's system.

The importance of plants is clear in the animation, which shows places chock full of plants such as the Brazilian Amazon and the forests of Eastern Europe taking in massive amounts of carbon in the southern and northern hemisphere summers, respectively.

The ocean isn't included in the animation, because while the ocean does take in carbon, it does not show strong seasonal patterns, Reichstein said. .

Recent research finds that the Amazon, one of the biggest carbon sinks on the planet, has recently been releasing more carbon each year than it takes in thanks to deforestation and wildfires, Live Science reported. 

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior

She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association

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