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Why is Carbon Important to Living Organisms


Carbon is one of the most crucial and abundant elements on the earth. This element is the building block of life and one of the reasons for the proper cycle of living organisms. Carbon is found in the atmosphere, ocean, and land creating the carbon cycle.

It is a fact that no life on earth would have been possible without carbon. It is due to the capability of this element to create bonds with other elements readily. The creation of bonds is responsible for the proper form and functionality of biomolecules such as RNA and DNA. The RNA and DNA molecules are responsible for replicating living organisms, growth, and defining the characteristics of life.

In this article, we will be discussing the importance of carbon dioxide to living organisms. The article will shed light on how this element itself is the reason for the proper functionality of organisms and why life would haven’t been possible without it.

Types of Carbon Cycle

There are two types of carbon cycle which are discussed below: 

Geological Carbon Cycle


The geological carbon cycle takes place over millions of years in which the atoms of carbon travel to the earth from the atmosphere and then again to the atmosphere. The carbon going back into the atmosphere occurs through natural processes such as the death of living organisms, fires, volcanic eruptions, burning of fossil fuels, and many other functions.

Biological Carbon Cycle

The biological carbon cycle is a process that takes place in days or thousands of years. It is a long-term process and corresponds to the geological cycling of carbon. Furthermore, carbon is taken from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and cellular respiration, from plants and living organisms, respectively. These procedures also help in sending the carbon back to the atmosphere for continuing the cycle.

Forms of Carbon

Carbon exists in numerous forms because of its nature to bind with other elements. Generally, carbon readily exists as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) petroleum, carbonate rocks, dead organic matter, and natural gas. These are nonliving forms of carbon dioxide that are converted into organic matter by plants and algae through photosynthesis.

The Life Cycle of Carbon; How it is Ensuring Possibility of Life

All living organisms are responsible for the proper cycling of carbon and the possibility of life. Plants take carbon dioxide along with sunlight and water for the process of photosynthesis. It metabolizes glucose used by animals and human beings for chemical energy and releases oxygen in the atmosphere for respiration. Animals and human beings use glucose and oxygen in food and respiration and metabolize carbon dioxide, water, and heat. The carbon dioxide released is used by plants, and in this way, the proper cycling of carbon for assuring life continues.

Carbon is an integral part of cells in the body. Cells are composed of macromolecules, the subset of organic molecules, and include nucleic acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Carbon serves as the backbone of the macromolecules, and its unique properties allow the macromolecules to form bonds with different atoms and ensure the proper functioning of the body.

Importance of Carbon in the Human Body

Carbon has significant importance in the human body because of its integral role in the cells. The carbon cycle is responsible for all the biological processes in the body, which include growth, replication, and character definition.

Proteins like fibrous and globular, sugar, fats, muscle tissue, DNA, and genes, all have carbon as their main component and cannot function properly in its absence, thereby confirming how important carbon is for the human body. In short, carbon is present in every part of the human body because it is a macronutrient.

Importance of Carbon for Animals


Similar to human beings, animals also require carbon for the same reasons as human beings. This element is vital for the proper growth and functionality of cells. It also helps in the replication of animals by being a key element in RNA and DNA.

In a type of respiration, animals exhale carbon dioxide, which helps in the release of carbon into the atmosphere that is to be utilized by plants for releasing oxygen and preparing their food.

Importance of Carbon for Plants


Like humans and animals, carbon holds an integral factor in the life of a plant as well. This element is responsible for the growth of plants and their respiration. The plants absorb the carbon released by animals and plants and present it in the atmosphere for their food through photosynthesis. In this way, the amount of carbon is balanced in nature, and plants turn the carbon into oxygen for the respiration of other living organisms.


Carbon is fundamental to life. It has been said that living organisms are made up of carbon and require carbon to survive. Therefore, without the presence of this element, no life can be possible.

Nature has rightly designed the whole process, and the reflection is seen in how plants use carbon that animals and human beings exhale to maintain the amount of carbon and proper functioning of life.

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