Why Does Photosynthesis Matter To Us Photosynthesis is described as a process by which plants and some bacteria utilize the solar energy to convert carbon dioxide in to organic matter. Photosynthetic life forms have chlorophyll that is responsible for extracting solar energy used to power photosynthetic process. On this note, it is important to point out that the photosynthetic process plays important role in supporting other functions on earth. This essay will discuss the importance of photosynthetic process to human beings.
To start with, the photosynthetic process utilizes a small portion of the light energy to produce more stable chemical compounds. According to the University of Illinois, photosynthetic plants utilize a small portion of the radiant energy to perform a series of transduction reactions that lead to formation of stable chemical compounds (n.d). The formation of the chemical compounds involves several steps that can be divided into light depended and light in depended reactions. During the light dependent reactions, light is utilized by the chlorophyll to make ATP, free oxygen, hydrogen and electrons, produced from water, and a carrier molecule, NADPH (Royal Society of Chemistry n.d).
During the light independent reactions, that take place in the stroma, the ATP and NADP produced during the light depended reactions are used to produce carbohydrates from carbon dioxide (Royal Society of Chemistry n.d). During these reactions, sugars and oxygen are produced as the final products. The photosynthetic process can be summarized in the following equation:
6CO2 .+ 6H2O + Energy –>. C6H12O6 .+ 6O2 (Clinton Community College n.d)
Of more importance, the products of photosynthesis make the process to be important to most of the living creatures on earth. This is because the process contributes largely to the sustainability process of living ecosystems. Firstly, the process is credited for the vast amount of oxygen released into the air. Most of the living creatures including human beings require oxygen to perform various physiological functions that are important for their survival. According to Faunce, the photosynthetic process accounts for approximately 1011 t/yr flux of oxygen on earth (2012). This means that the process is vital for the survival of human beings and other creatures that rely on oxygen to carry out physiological processes.
Secondly, photosynthesis serves as means of storing solar energy. According to Blankenship, photosynthesis utilizes the solar energy and converts it in to chemical energy that is stable (2013). Faunce expresses the entire photosynthetic process as a free energy equation as shown below (2012).
(ΔG) in eV→2H2O→2H2O→2H2+2O2
Faunce, further states that the electrons produces are then stored in terms of ATP and NADPH which are energy storage molecules (2013). In addition, fossils of photosynthetic bacteria are known to produce oil after being decomposed for several years (Faunce 2012).
On the other hand, photosynthesis helps to reduce the green house effect on earth. Many physiological processes carried out by human beings and animals result in production of carbon dioxide as a byproduct. In addition, human activities such as burning of fossil fuel lead to production of carbon dioxide gas that is responsible for the green house effect on earth. This emitted carbon dioxide is utilized in photosynthetic process which intern releases the much needed oxygen. Therefore, photosynthesis helps to maintain the balance in the atmospheric composition for the two gases. According to Faunce, the photosynthetic process accounts for carbon dioxide flux of about 124PgC/Yr (2012). This indicates that the photosynthetic process is essential for maintaining the atmospheric composition of oxygen and carbon dioxide hence reducing the green house effect.
In conclusion, photosynthetic process matters a lot to human beings. This is because the products of the process facilitate sustainability of human beings and other creatures. From the above discussion, it is evident that photosynthesis not only provides essential products like oxygen and carbohydrate to human beings, but also creates a good living environment for humans and other creature by reducing the green house effect on earth.
Clinton Community College. (n.d). Photosynthesis. Retrieved from http://faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu/faculty/michael.gregory/files/bio%20101/bio%20101%20lectures/photosynthesis/photosyn.htm
Royal Society of Chemistry. (n.d). Photosynthesis. Retrieved from http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/cfb/photosynthesis.htm
University of Illinois. (n.d). The Photosynthetic Process. Retrieved from http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/paper/gov.html
Faunce, T. A. (2012). .Nanotechnology for a sustainable world: Global artificial photosynthesis as nanotechnologys moral culmination. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Blankenship, R.E. (2013). Molecular Mechanisms of Photosynthesis. Chichester: John Wiley &. Sons.