carbon cycle


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Related to carbon cycle: nitrogen cycle, water cycle, Oxygen 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]
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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 ?
The key to appreciating how the system works is to understand the carbon cycle. Most of you will remember from high school biology that during photosynthesis, plants take [CO.sub.2] from the atmosphere to make carbohydrates for their growth.
Scientists call this a short carbon cycle, maybe 30 to 100 years to grow the trees again.
In brief, DCFC converts carbon into electricity at 80%+ efficiency and produces pure C[O.sub.2] as a waste product, ready to be pumped straight into storage or, better still, recycled using renewable energy (for instance in algae bioreactors back into biomass) which could be converted to bio-char to feed the DCFC in a closed carbon cycle.
You can also download free standards-linked high school lesson plans; building on global warming basics, they cover the carbon cycle; target levels for atmospheric greenhouse gasses, cap and trade, carbon tax, new technologies, concerns of developed and developing countries; and how to formulate position statements.
She recently received her masters of science in environmental education and works at ESRL as a Logistics Coordinator for the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group.
These changes since 2000 characterize a carbon cycle generating stronger than expected, sooner than expected climate forcing.
All our graduating students seeking professional registration should be able to clearly explain the Earth's carbon cycle and the basic principles of the greenhouse effect.
Specifically, Dinneen challenges Sir Browne's comment that ethanol is "damaging to the carbon dioxide balance," stating that "the ethanol production process represents a carbon cycle, where plants absorb carbon dioxide during growth, 'recycling' the carbon released during fuel combustion."
Their research represents the culmination of a 15-year effort to measure and interpret the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle.
Global Carbon Cycle Integrating Humans, Climate, and the Natural World
Analysis of the genome data will enhance our understanding of lignocellulose degradation, a pivotal process in the global carbon cycle, and provide a framework for further development of bioprocesses for biomass utilization, organopollutant degradation and fiber bleaching.
"If current warming trends in the Arctic continue, we can expect to see more of the old carbon now sequestered in northern soils enter the carbon cycle as carbon dioxide.