(The following is a short story I wrote relating to the carbon cycle)
Hi I am a carbon atom and this is my life story. I started out beside my two parents Oxygen 1 and Oxygen 2. Together we are carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by cellular respiration. Speaking of cellular respiration that’s how me and my parents came into this world. We were breathed out by a human. Humans obtain energy by breaking down carbohydrates. This requires oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. After that we were part the atmosphere, the gas that surrounds the world. Soon after, we got absorbed by a type of carbon sink, a fern. Ferns are carbon sinks because they absorb carbon and store from the atmosphere. In a process called photosynthesis I was taken away from my parents (they went back into the atmosphere) and mixed with water and sunlight to make some carbohydrates for the fern to eat. Later the fern used me as a carbohydrate to form part of a leaf. The fern eventually got flooded over by a near by river causing sediment build up on top of the fern. After 300 million years of slowly decomposing from bacteria under heat and pressure of being forced underground I was turned into coal. The bacteria is what we call a decomposer because they help decompose or decay organic matter. Later on some humans mined me up to use in their factories (wow humans still exist and they still use coal!). Factories are carbon sources because they release carbon into the atmosphere. Now I was back in the atmosphere and back with my parents as a carbon dioxide. But that didn’t last long. I got diffused from the atmosphere and into the ocean.
Turning into dissolved carbon dioxide, which is just carbon dioxide but dissolved into the ocean. Soon after a phytoplankton took me in to make nutrition. In the phytoplankton I got separated again from my parents. But later when a small fish ate the phytoplankton and died, me and my parents got put back together and released as carbon dioxide from the fish. After a wile we floated to the top and got back into the atmosphere. Only for a Tree, another carbon sink to absorb me again. Later that year, the forest caught fire, a major carbon release agent and me and my parents were reunited for the last time. Unlike carbon sources carbon release agents are natural. The forest fire I was in was caused by a lightning bolt. Now me and my parents are back together and have been floating around ever since.