#WordWednesday's words: Carbon Sink (Part I) 🌀
This phrase is so often tossed around, but what is a carbon sink? To answer that, let's back up: what is carbon? Carbon is known as "the building block of life" - or element six on the periodic table. Important things that are made up of carbon: you, sea turtles, diamonds, cats, corals… everything organic, and then some. Of course, carbon is also in the atmosphere, collecting there when we do things like breathe or burn coal. ⬇️
In moderation and equilibrium, carbon in the atmosphere is not abnormal. In fact, it's necessary. For example, trees remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and turn it into the gas we need to survive: oxygen. Without carbon (in the form of CO2), trees wouldn't exist. A carbon sink is a location on Earth that, for various reasons, pulls out large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and stores them. (This storage is called "carbon sequestration." To sequester means to hide away; in chemistry terms, it's to basically render something like a carbon molecule inactive.) Let's use an example of a carbon sink, or carbon sequestration zone, to better understand. ⬇️
Forests take CO2 from the atmosphere. Through the process of photosynthesis (converting sunlight to energy), CO2 is mixed with light and water and, besides producing more water and some oxygen, produces carbon-rich glucose . Glucose is the food of the tree. One tree can take in carbon and turn it into food. Imagine billions of trees doing just that, and you can see how important forest carbon sinks are when it comes to removing excess carbon from the atmosphere. Are there also ocean carbon sinks? ⬇️
For that answer, friends, you'll have to wait until next week's Word Wednesday (which will actually occur on a Wednesday), where we will discuss how oceans are critical carbon sinks that are often overlooked. If you'd like to have a word defined on WW, please share it below or DM me. Are there any questions about carbon sinks so far? Ask away. 💙
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I sipped on a latte as Mr. Brown told me about his marriage with his lovely wife Jane. The hardships, recent death of their son, the continual choice they have made to love each other over all the years. The painting, he explained, was to “reflect the deep connection I have with her. And turtles, because well, we like turtles”.
Sometimes I get tired of my own art, but when I realize that it gives me a unique window into people’s lives, thoughts, perspectives, stories...the stale paint brush gets a second wind.