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1. Physics See carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle.
2. Ecology The combined processes, including photosynthesis, decomposition, and respiration, by which carbon as a component of various compounds cycles between its major reservoirs—the atmosphere, oceans, soil, rocks, and living organisms.
1. (Biology) the circulation of carbon between living organisms and their surroundings. Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is synthesized by plants into plant tissue, which is ingested and metabolized by animals and converted to carbon dioxide again during respiration and decay
2. (General Physics) four thermonuclear reactions believed to be the source of energy in many stars. Carbon nuclei function as catalysts in the fusion of protons to form helium nuclei
1. the biological cycle by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is converted to carbohydrates by plants and other photosynthesizers, consumed and metabolized by organisms, and returned to the atmosphere through respiration, decomposition, and the combustion of fossil fuels.
2. a cycle of nuclear transformations in stellar interiors through which hydrogen is converted into helium.
The continuous process by which carbon is exchanged between organisms and the environment. Carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere by plants and algae and converted to carbohydrates by photosynthesis. Carbon is then passed into the food chain and returned to the atmosphere by the respiration and decay of animals, plants, and other organisms. The burning of fossil fuels also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
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|Noun||1.||carbon cycle - the organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again|
|2.||carbon cycle - a thermonuclear reaction in the interior of stars|
thermonuclear reaction - a nuclear fusion reaction taking place at very high temperatures (as in the sun)