Photosynthesis – For The Existence of Life on Earth
Everyone might be aware of the term ‘Photosynthesis’. Other than as a chemical process happening within the green plants, have you ever amused about the role it plays in our lives? It’s quite obvious that no one would like to waste their time and energy thinking about a trivial subject. After having learned about the process in schools, nobody would have ever thought about the occurrence of such a process in the environment.
To begin with, photosynthesis is the process in which the green plants containing chlorophyll prepare their own food in the presence of sunlight. In this process, the plants absorb the radiant energy from the sun, carbon dioxide and water from the environment and produce glucose and oxygen as its by-products. This oxygen is utilized by us for respiration.
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Photosynthesis and Other Species
The process of photosynthesis and our lives are interconnected. While plants absorb the carbon dioxide exhaled by us from the atmosphere, we utilize the oxygen produced by them. The glucose consumed by the plants are at a later stage devoured by herbivores which are finally consumed by carnivores or omnivores. Hence, this can be considered as a complete life-cycle, wherein even a small missing link can create a large imbalance in nature.
Why do we need plants in our lives?
Have you ever seen a place completely devoid of any plant life? It is, in fact, not possible to visualize such a scenario. Because plants are the only species capable of creating their own food and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. If plants get washed off from the surface of the earth, then it means that the atmosphere would gradually get filled up with the carbon dioxide we exhale. Without the supply of oxygen and glucose from the plants, the existence of human beings would be impossible.
Fossil Fuel – A By-Product of Photosynthesis
Yet another product formed as a result of photosynthesis is fossil fuel. The energy released from the plants, millions of years ago as a result of photosynthesis, after further geological processes get converted to fossil fuels (i.e., coal, oil, and gas). These fuels are utilized almost everywhere, including factories, houses and also for transportation. Moreover, they are also used as the raw materials in the production of plastics and synthetic products.
Effect of Photosynthesis in the Atmosphere and Climate
Photosynthesis is the process which maintains the balance of gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, which is otherwise utilized by the plants during the photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates, remains in the atmosphere when the trees and plants are cut down. The level of carbon dioxide would gradually increase, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere which would be very harmful to us. The reason due to which we are able to bear the heat of the sun is also due to this process. The direct heat of the sun gets absorbed by the tall trees and hence its intensity gets reduced by the time it reaches the surface of the earth.
Photosynthesis is, hence, an inevitable chemical process on which our lives depend upon. When we remove the vegetation to construct new buildings and towns, we are actually digging our own graves. The lack of this chemical process are the main reasons behind the catastrophe like sunstroke and acid rain.
Unfortunately, even though we live in a modern world, we still have to depend on the age-old fossil fuels and photosynthesis. Fossil fuels are usually considered as non-renewable sources of energy as they take millions of years to form. So, by depleting these fossil fuels at a rapid rate and restricting the process of photosynthesis, we are nullifying the possibility of the existence of future generations on this earth.
Also read: Benefits of afforestation
Henceforth, the time has come for us to give more thought to the process of photosynthesis and its effects on us and the atmosphere. We have to realize that this process can no longer be considered as an insignificant one. As trivial as it sounds, the existence of this chemical process is the cornerstone of our survival on this planet. If proper action is not taken to preserve the plant life and hence the photosynthesis, there would arise a scenario where the Earth would become completely barren.
Photosynthesis is thus one of the most important chemical reactions happening on the Earth, which should be preserved as long as we wish for us and our generations yet to come to have a healthy and long-life.