carbon cycle

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car·bon di·ox·ide cy·cle

, carbon cycle
the circulation of carbon as CO2 from the expired air of animals and decaying organic matter to plant life where it is synthesized (through photosynthesis) to carbohydrate material, from which, as a result of catabolic processes in all life, it is again ultimately released to the atmosphere as CO2.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

carbon cycle

n.
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, and living organisms.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

carbon cycle

A general term for the flux of CO2 from the point of fixation by photosynthesis to its release into the atmosphere by anthropogenic activities.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

car·bon di·ox·ide cy·cle

, carbon cycle (kahr'bŏn dī-oks'īd sī'kĕl)
The circulation of carbon as CO2 from the expired air of animals and decaying organic matter to plant life where it is synthesized (through photosynthesis) to carbohydrate material, from which, as a result of catabolic processes in all life, it is again ultimately released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

carbon cycle

The important biological cycle in which carbon in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is taken up by plants, incorporated, by photosynthesis, into carbohydrates which are eaten by animals, and the carbon then oxidised and finally returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide waste gas.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
Carbon cycleclick for a larger image
Fig. 90 Carbon cycle . The main steps.

carbon cycle

the circulation of carbon by the metabolic processes of living organisms in an ECOSYSTEM so that it always returns to an arbitrary starting point.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
There is enough carbon locked up in the geologic carbon cycle to fill the biospheric one a thousand times over, but it leaks out very slowly.
We can measure the amount of these biomarkers within our filtered sample to measure how much of the total carbon comes from plants and to learn about the workings of the biospheric carbon cycle in general.
These are made possible by the carbon cycle: the exchange of carbon between the earth's carbon reservoirs, as shown in Fig.
The diagram shows how an enormous carbon cycle moves carbon between these reservoirs in a number of sub-cycles.
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.
This is the first part of the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is completed when plants die and their tissues decompose, releasing [CO.sub.2] back into the atmosphere.
In Chapter 10, ap Rees concludes that plant respiration is a significant component of the global carbon cycle (about 55 Gt per year).
Abraham Miller-Rushing and his colleagues at Boston University has explored how increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 may be affecting trees and, ultimately, affecting water and carbon cycles.