Q:

Why is photosynthesis important?

A:

Quick Answer

Photosynthesis is the ultimate source of the energy for all the food that humans require, as well as the source of the energy used to build the biological materials that humans use, such as wood, cotton and wool. It is also the major source of oxygen gas that all animals require.

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Full Answer

Photosynthesis is the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates using energy from sunlight. It is the main process by which new energy becomes available to life on Earth. Plants and algae use photosynthesis to convert light energy into a form available to other organisms, and thus form the base of almost every food chain. Animal materials and foods can also be traced back to this source of energy and materials.

Beyond the immediate energy and materials that photosynthesis provides, it is also the source of the energy stored in fossil fuels, which come from the decomposition of buried organisms without oxygen. These decayed remains are subjected to geological processes, such as heat and pressure, for millions of years to become coal, oil and natural gas. These together make up over 85 percent of humans' energy use. Photosynthesis is also an important factor in reducing the damage many scientists worry about due to carbon dioxide levels.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does photosynthesis affect the environment?

    A:

    Photosynthesis plays an important role in the environment for several reasons as it helps clean the air because plants use the carbon dioxide in the air for photosynthesis, the plants produce oxygen as a by-product which all humans and animals need to live and it also makes plants grow, providing food for animals that feed on plants. Without plants, the world would quickly become uninhabitable for human and animal life. The oxygen would be used up and there would be no food to feed the animals that humans rely on for food.

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  • Q:

    Why do we need plants?

    A:

    Plants are necessary because they are a primary food source and provide the oxygen that is vital to animals' and humans' existence. A majority of the calories that people consume comes from plants, and most meat comes from animals that eat plants. Plants are at the bottom of the food chain, and animals could not survive without them. Plants also release the oxygen that humans and animals breathe.

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  • Q:

    What are some everyday uses of plants?

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    Plants and plant-derived materials provide humans with everything from oxygen, food and medicinally active chemical compounds to building materials, rope and paper pulp. Plants are also used to beautify both indoor and outdoor spaces.

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  • Q:

    What is the overall equation for photosynthesis?

    A:

    Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction that converts solar energy to chemical energy and has the chemical equation of 6H2O + 6CO2 --> C6H12O6 + 6O2. The overall reaction of photosynthesis is catalyzed by solar energy and produces glucose for plants and oxygen for the atmosphere.

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