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Ecosystem

The Oxygen Cycle

The letter O for oxygen
Oxygen is an important element to life on Earth. It is the most common element of the human body. It makes up about 65% of the mass of the human body. Most of this is in the form of water (H2O). Oxygen also makes up about 30% of the Earth and 20% of the atmosphere.

The Oxygen Cycle

Oxygen is constantly being used and created by different processes on planet Earth. All of these processes together make up the oxygen cycle. The oxygen cycle is interconnected with the carbon cycle.

In the simple example of the oxygen cycle shown below, you can see how oxygen is used and cycled by plants and animals. Plants are the main creators of oxygen in the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. Here the tree uses sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce energy and releases oxygen. The giraffe breathes in the oxygen and then breathes out carbon dioxide. The plant can then use this carbon dioxide and the cycle is complete.

Simple diagram of the oxygen cycle
Simple diagram of the oxygen cycle


Processes That Use Oxygen
Processes That Produce Oxygen Fun Facts Activities

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