Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|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)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.