Definition of carbon cycle in English:

carbon cycle


  • 1The series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, involving the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels.

    • ‘The series of chemical, physical, geological, and biological changes by which carbon moves through the Earth's air, land, water, and living organisms is called the carbon cycle.’
    • ‘We have reversed the carbon cycle by about 400,000 years.’
    • ‘The total number of carbon atoms on Earth is fixed - they are exchanged between the ocean, atmosphere, land and biosphere, through a set of processes known as the carbon cycle.’
    • ‘So instead of extending the life of the coal industry or other fossil fuel industries, shouldn't we actually be using it to pull forward the renewable sector and get us out of the carbon cycle altogether?’
    • ‘Biomass energy is considered a renewable or sustainable energy because of its dosed carbon cycle.’
  • 2Astronomy
    The cycle of thermonuclear reactions believed to occur in stars, in which carbon nuclei are repeatedly formed and broken down in the conversion of hydrogen into helium.

    • ‘Carbon speeds the fusing of hydrogen nuclei into helium in the carbon cycle, so these stars burn faster and more brightly than do other hydrogen-burning stars.’
    • ‘The carbon cycle is the dominant energy source for ordinary stars of mass greater than about 1.5 times the mass of the Sun.’
    • ‘For his role in working out the energy source for stars more massive than the sun, the carbon cycle, Hans Bethe received the Nobel Prize in 1967.’


carbon cycle