There are many phases of the carbon cycle which contribute to the exchange of carbon throughout the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Within these cycle, carbon is exchanged through four main reservoirs: the atmosphere, the terrestrial biosphere, the oceans (through dissolved organic carbon and marine biota), and sediments. Carbon is both released and stored in all stages. For example, in the atmosphere, carbon is released through the respiration of plants and animals, and stored by forests. The amount of carbon dioxide which is in the atmosphere is a result of the global carbon budget, or the balance of exchanges between carbon reservoirs or loops of the carbon cycle.
1) Carbon is released into the atmosphere by animals, plants, people and burning of fossil fuels.
2) Carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere by plants for photosynthesis, and also mixed into the ocean and other components of the Earth.
3) Plants are eaten by animals or people, who again release the CO2 back into the atmosphere. Or plants decay and can eventually become fossil fuels. We burn the fossil fuels and the CO2 is released back into the atmosphere.
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