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Coal vs. Banana: A two-minute explanation of the carbon cycle

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Published on Jun 15, 2011

What do a banana and a piece of coal have in common? Both are made of carbon and both provide us with energy. Coal stores carbon that was in the atmosphere millions of years ago. A banana, on the other hand, stores carbon that was in the atmosphere just a few months ago. As NASA scientist Peter Griffith explains in this video, when we burn coal, we release old carbon back into the atmosphere far faster than things like bananas can store it. As a result, carbon gases build up in the atmosphere and warm the Earth.

Read more about the carbon cycle on the Earth Observatory: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Feat...

Video produced by Genna Duberstein, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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