carbon cycle

(redirected from carbon cycles)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to carbon cycles: nitrogen cycle

carbon cycle

n.
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.

carbon cycle

n
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

car′bon cy`cle


n.
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.
[1910–15]
click for a larger image
carbon cycle

carbon cycle

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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.carbon cycle - the organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
biological process, organic process - a process occurring in living organisms
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)
Translations

carbon cycle

n (Chem) → ciclo del carbonio
References in periodicals archive ?
SMAP begins a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth's surface to expand understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving our living planet.
The tiny amount of soil moisture links the planet's overall environmental systems - its water, energy and carbon cycles - as well as determines whether particular regions are afflicted with drought or flooding.
SMAP will provide high-resolution, space-based measurements of soil moisture and its state -- frozen or thawed -- a new capability that will allow scientists to better predict natural hazards of extreme weather, climate change, floods and droughts, and help reduce uncertainties in our understanding of Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.