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Category Archive for 'Photosynthesis'

We’re In A Jam Let’s face it, humanity is NOT going to back off anytime soon on it’s production of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels. Just last year, for example, atmospheric CO2 emissions increased at their fastest rate for 30 years. So, how are we to respond to the […]

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In the past 250 years the amount of atmospheric CO2 has increased by over 40% (from 270 to 387 ppm), due mainly to human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising faster than the worst-case scenario postulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC […]

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YES! Here’s How (And Why): Although “Global Warming” is to some people a controversial subject, the one thing that’s not controversial is that the level of atmospheric CO2 has significantly increased in the past 100 years and will likely continue to increase – at least until humans stop burning fossil fuels. OK, so atmospheric CO2 […]

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First, What’s a C4 Plant? I could answer this question here, but instead I’ll refer you to an excellent introduction provided by Dr. Colin Osborne. Or you can read the Wikipedia entry. (I’ll wait until you come back….) OK….now you know that C4 plants – such as the crops maize, sorghum, and sugarcane – add […]

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The world’s most abundant and most important enzyme is RuBisCo. It’s the most abundant because it’s present in relatively large quantities in every photosynthetic organism on the planet – from microscopic cyanobacteria and phytoplankton in the oceans to the leaves of giant-sized trees in the tropics. It’s also the most important enzyme on Earth because […]

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Articles about photosynthesis in the popular press or online often make me cringe. Why? Because sometimes they lead people to think that the oxygen (O2) produced by photosynthesis is derived from carbon dioxide (CO2). Some even further compound their mistake by stating that plants actually convert CO2 into O2 at night! Ack! This is simply […]

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As previously mentioned….if most climatologists are correct, then parts of the Earth’s surface may experience increasing episodes of heat and drought as a result of global “weirding”. (see here and here and here for recent examples) Some of the effects of heat on photosynthesis were considered in part 1 of this post. But what about […]

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If most climatologists are correct, then parts of the Earth’s surface may experience increasing episodes of heat and drought as a result of global “weirding”. (see here for a current example) In a previous post in this blog, I briefly introduced the complex subject of how increasing atmospheric CO2 may affect plant photosynthesis. There is […]

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