Teaching Module: Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Change

A teaching module that discusses the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle. This reading by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) describes the 2 cycles and details how the components are cycled through different parts of the Earth- atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. 

Students will be introduced to biogeochemical cycles, the processes involved, and how the carbon and nitrogen cycles work. They will further understand how anthropogenic activities potentially alter the functioning of such cycles and how this contributes to climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the carbon cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  2. What is the nitrogen cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  3. Discuss how biogeochemical cycles influence Earth’s climate?

About the tool

Tool NameBiogeochemical Cycles
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Sequestration, Capture and Storage, Sources and Sinks, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms; Climate and the Atmosphere, Climate and the Biosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere, Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
Developed byUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Hosted atUCAR Website
Computer SkillsBasic