Respiration Carbon Cycle

Illustration showing why the exhaling of carbon dioxide (CO2) by humans and animals does not contribute to global warming.  Plant photosynthesis and animal respiration form a carbon cycle, where plants consume CO2 and release oxygen (O2), while animals consume oxygen and release the CO2 that is then used by plants.  Global warming is caused by the additional CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels that is not part of this normal carbon cycle (see the Complete Carbon Cycle graphic).

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