Monday, December 7, 2009

The Ultimate Solar Cells

These green blobs are chloroplasts - in this instance packed inside the cells of a moss leaf and magnified around 400 times - upon which our collective future depends. Using only energy from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they produce the oxygen we breathe, control the climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, directly or indirectly via plants and animals, produce all the food we eat. Currently 6.3 billion of us depend on them for our survival. By 2050 9 billion of us will need their services. Maximum respect for plants, then..... and, more precisely (see Psi Wavefunction's comment), chlorophyll, in all of its manefestations, wherever it occurs


  1. Actually, the influence of land plants on global climate is pretty much negligible when compared to that of other photosynthetic eukaryotes and cyanobacteria =P [/pedantry]

    (apparently marine diatoms are a huge factor; not surprising, considering how much of the earth's surface is water)

  2. ......quite right, Psi Wavefunction, which is why this refers to chloroplasts (and by implication chlorophyll)in this respect, not land plants......for more on diatoms see


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