All About Carbon Dioxide
Carbon is an element that's found all over the world and in every living thing. Oxygen is another element that's in the air we breathe. When carbon and oxygen bond together, they form a colorless, odorless gas called carbon dioxide, which is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. Whenever we burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas—whether it's to drive our cars, use electricity, or make products—we are producing carbon dioxide.
The atmosphere isn't the only part of the Earth that has carbon. The oceans store large amounts of carbon, and so do plants, soil, and deposits of coal, oil, and natural gas deep underground. Carbon naturally moves from one part of the Earth to another through the carbon cycle. But right now, by burning fossil fuels, people are adding carbon to the atmosphere (in the form of carbon dioxide) faster than natural processes can remove it. That's why the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing, which is causing global climate change.
People are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere faster than it can be removed.