Environmental Literacy                                        

      Michigan State University

Carbon cycle

Carbon-transforming processes in socio-ecological systems at multiple scales, including cellular and organismal metabolism, ecosystem energetics and carbon cycling, carbon sequestration, and combustion of fossil fuels.  These processes: (a) create organic carbon (photosynthesis), (b) transform organic carbon (biosynthesis, digestion, food webs, carbon sequestration), and (c) oxidize organic carbon (cellular respiration, combustion).  The primary cause of global climate change is the current worldwide imbalance among these processes.