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The Human Perturbation of the Carbon Cycle

Policy Brief No. 10 from UNESCO, SCOPE, and UNEP

The carbon cycle is closely linked to the climate system and is influenced by the growing human population and associated demands for resources, especially for fossil-fuel energy and land. The rate of change in atmospheric CO2 reflects the balance between carbon emissions from human activities and the dynamics of a number of terrestrial and ocean processes that remove or emit CO2. The long-term evolution of this balance will largely determine the speed and magnitude of humaninduced climate change and the mitigation requirements to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations at any given level.

UNESCO-SCOPE-UNEP Policy Brief No. 10: The Human Perturbation of the Carbon Cycle

Source: Source: SCOPE [1]


  • Carbon cycle
  • Causes
  • Causes of climate change
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide)
  • Greenhouse gases