Photosynthesis: Fighting Climate Change

Photosynthesis is the light-driven process of converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to the building blocks of plants, algae, and some bacteria. These building blocks are carbon compounds, such as glucose or sugar, with oxygen and water being by-products. Without this process, life as we know it wouldn’t exist.

The photosynthesis process can be a key to fighting global warming. Carbon from the atmosphere can be sequestered or stored through this process, reducing our carbon footprints. It’s a kind of living machinery for climate change mitigation.

Experts consider photosynthesis to be the most critical biochemical process for supporting life on earth. It releases oxygen into the atmosphere and acts as the energy source for all our food. Despite how important photosynthesis is, scientists are still learning about how the complex process’s molecular structure works and how it shapes our world.

One major environmental problem is the rapidly growing concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere, which is steadily increasing with population and industrial growth. This is the core component of the global warming and climate change trend that is threatening our earth. A New York Magazine article recently detailed how quickly and severely climate change is threatening humans’ very existence, with many experts expecting weather catastrophes, droughts, rising sea levels, and other cataclysmic global events before the end of the century.

Much of the discussion and policy on mitigating global climate change has focused on how humans should reduce carbon dioxide emissions through regulations on industry and by using cleaner energy. One example is the landmark Paris climate change agreement. While this is necessary, it’s also important to remember that photosynthesis is the only process available for breaking down carbon dioxide. Trees, plants, and shrubs act as carbon storage systems capable of reversing many of the effects of global warming.

This is why it’s a good idea to plant trees on your property and to push for public policy for conservation of forests. Public parks and urban green spaces are also key players in creating cooler climates. Every tree planted absorbs up to 48 lbs. of carbon dioxide. If we fail to do this and neglect to curb greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists say the results could be devastating.

If you want to learn more about photosynthesis and how to fight climate change, we’re here to help. We’re driven by curiosity and stay up to date on the latest pedagogical techniques in sustainability education. We’re experienced in communicating knowledge and understanding of environmental science to diverse audiences because we believe this is key to reducing humans’ long-term impact on the earth. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with everything from environmental education to feasibility studies.

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By |2017-09-18T19:46:19-04:00September 18th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Environment|Tags: , , , |

About the Author:

Dr. Leanne J Philip, BSc. (Hon.); MSc.; PhD. is the Managing Director & Chief Scientist of Soil Advocates Inc. She studied at the University of Guelph as an undergraduate (Plant Biology, Environmental Management and Urban Horticulture) and as a graduate student (Plant & Soil Interactions). She has a keen interest in soil sciences, which lead her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for doctoral studies in soil carbon sequestration and movement within British Columbia’s clear-cut soils. Further work in soil sciences in Europe and Canada reinforced Dr. Philip’s belief that soil processes and mechanisms belowground drive aboveground aesthetics and plant interactions. While active in both research, mentorship and teaching, most recently Dr. Philip has been working in applied soil sciences in industry and community outreach. Dr. Philip is a native of southern Ontario and is a strong advocate for scientific literacy within her community and responsible environmental stewardship.

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