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Can photosynthesis help reduce global warming?

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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Can photosynthesis help reduce global warming?

Postby DavidMaine » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:47 pm

Since plants utilize infra-red radiation for photosynthesis in addition to other wavelengths of light, wouldn't more plants, algae, etc. help with moderating global warming?
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Postby plasmodesmata11 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:36 pm

i'd say it's because they utilize CO2 in the calvin cycle for sugars
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Postby JackBean » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:23 am

The absorption of IR is not high. Rather, as plasmodesmata mentioned, the effect of binding CO2 is more relevant. But the Earth is space-limited, so we can't grown whatever forever and if you burn/eat it once, you will release the bound carbon again...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby Hobble » Thu May 27, 2010 4:32 am

I don't have the article, but I read that there is a specific tree I believe in Asia that traps CO2 and grows at a much faster rate then normal trees... Planting more of these could help reduce green house gases...

I always wondered if a genetically modified tree could trap even more CO2, or is there a way to mechanically trap CO2 from the atmosphere in a form of sugar or some other by product (sort of an artificial photosynthesis)?
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Postby JackBean » Thu May 27, 2010 7:35 am

Hobble: you probably mean bamboo. These grow pretty fast.

As I wrote above. Even if you grew plenty of bamboo, where will you have it? What will you do with it afterwards?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby fastsandslash » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:34 pm

Likewise, if there was a plant that had such an ability, you will have to take in account it's tolerance ranges, and since the earth is quite... different in all places, the plant would have to be hardy, and also be superior to all other plants. Hence, Gause's principle. We could genetically modify a species, of let's say, Dandelion. There will be a few problems, considering we are creating a possible "weed" that can outcompete every other plant species. Overall, great idea, although not very practical. JackBean, we could feed many, many giant pandas :D. Joking aside, rather than try and boost the world to keep up with our terrible CO2 releasing habits, we could, alternatively cut down on CO2 emissions? Without humans, evolution would still be occurring copiously, rather than trickling. Humans would be evolving forwards rather than backwards. The world would not be doomed by 2100, species would no longer be "endangered", forest would not be cut down, etc, etc. Without humans, most all problems can be solved, but then again, that isn't very practical, is it?
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Postby JackBean » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:43 am

and pandas will fart and release the carbon back to the air. That's the stupidity of such plans!

I think that w/o humans, humans would not be evolving ;)
You know, I love these arguments "let's kill all humankinds. Oh, actually no, just 99% of course. And of course, we will be the ones, who will survive and spread the ideals of human being in the future, when aliens come..."
You know, in the first shot you may be between those Chosen People, but the situation may change and even and/or your children may get killed/vanished/vaporized, whatever you wanna call it.
If you like the solution with decreasing human population, why don't you start with yourself?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby fastsandslash » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:39 am

Oh, the irony. If only we could kill ourselves and then solve the problem of human evolution!!

I don't particularly like the idea of killing off all humans, I was just illustrating the impracticality of some urr... solutions. (is impracticality a word?) Please forgive the ramblings of a ranting 16 yr-old!! XDDDD

Btw, I think that there was a reason we stopped evolving though. Imagine if we continued to evolve then started to grow "thoughts". We would have destroyed the Earth long ago!!
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Re: Can photosynthesis help reduce global warming?

Postby Kuruvilla » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:05 am

simple action you can take to help reduce global warming.
Plant a Tree

If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
Last edited by JackBean on Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: spam removed
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Postby JackBean » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:22 pm

oh, yeah, very clever, then will we have something to burn and release even more CO2...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby Hobble » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:02 am

Problem with humanity is that it is reactionary. Before we see any solid proof that our actions are leading towards our destruction, enough to actually persuade humanity to change, it would probably be too late...
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Postby TheSymphofBiology » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:02 am

From what I remember trees have a low albedo (reflects less solar radiation), so growing more trees would actually trap in more solar radiation and cause higher temps.
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