Growing More With Less

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Okay, I don’t buy into the whole overpopulation nonsense, but this is ingenious.

The world’s population, which stood at 2.5 billion in 1950, is predicted to increase to 10.5 billion by 2050.

But at the same time, farmland is shrinking and crop productivity is stagnating, leading many to fear there may not be enough food to feed the planet.

Now scientists claim they have come up with a novel solution; hack the process by which plants convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar.

Scentists claim they have come up with a novel solution to feed the world; hack the process by which plants convert sunlight and carbon dioxide. This graphic shows how environmental changes throughout the canopy affect photosynthesis. For instance, relative humidity (RH) tends to increase from top to bottom
Scentists claim they have come up with a novel solution to feed the world; hack the process by which plants convert sunlight and carbon dioxide. This graphic shows how environmental changes throughout the canopy affect photosynthesis. For instance, relative humidity (RH) tends to increase from top to bottom

PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN BRIEF 

The process through which plants absorb light using chlorophyll to produce chemical energy in the form of oxygen, glucose and more is called photosynthesis.

During the process glucose is used by the plants to breathe or is converted into starch, while oxygen is released as a waste product – in turn giving us the air we need to breathe.

The rate of photosynthesis is altered by differing carbon dioxide levels and light intensity. If either is increased then the process will also increase, up to a limit.

Temperature also plays a part, with a higher temperature increasing the rate.

However if the temperature is too high, beyond 40C, the rate slows down.

Photosynthesis provides most of the energy necessary for life on Earth to exist.

But no way to artificially mimic the process has yet been created, leaving us dependent on plants to survive and thrive.

This, they hope, will allow farmers to create more products such as wheat, using the same amount of space, water and sunlight

At the moment, the process of photosynthesis is stunningly inefficient.

Plants absorb light using chlorophyll to produce chemical energy in the form of oxygen and glucose.

Glucose is used by the plants to breathe or is converted into starch, while oxygen is released as a waste product – in turn giving us the air we need to breathe.

The rate of photosynthesis is altered by differing carbon dioxide levels and light intensity. If either is increased then the process will also increase, up to a limit.

‘If we can double or triple the efficiency of photosynthesis – and I think that’s feasible -the impact on agricultural productivity could be huge,’ said Dr Robert Blankenship at Washington University in St Louis.

Blankenship has recently unveiled some of the ideas put forward by scientists at a workshop at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory last year.

One option is to decrease the number of light-absorbing chlorophyll molecules – the pigment plants rely on to absorb solar energy – in a given plant.

Because plants already absorb more sunlight than they can use, having fewer chlorophyll molecules won’t slow photosynthesis down. Instead, it would free up resources that can be used for growth.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).