When quantifying the environmental impact of plants, especially in the context of carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, it is more common to focus on the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) absorbed by the plant rather than the Oxygen (O2) produced. Here’s why:
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas primarily responsible for climate change. By absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and storing it as biomass, plants help mitigate climate change by reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. This process is known as carbon sequestration.
While plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, the amount of oxygen they produce is roughly equivalent to the amount they consume during respiration. Therefore, the net effect on atmospheric oxygen levels is relatively small.
In contrast, plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and store it as carbon in their biomass, thereby reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Given the urgent need to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the focus of environmental assessments and initiatives often centers on activities that directly impact CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Quantifying the amount of CO2 absorbed by plants helps assess their contribution to carbon sequestration and evaluate their role in mitigating climate change.
Measuring and quantifying the amount of CO2 absorbed by plants is more straightforward and directly relevant to climate change mitigation efforts. There are established methods and techniques for estimating carbon sequestration in forests and ecosystems, whereas quantifying oxygen production may be less relevant for climate-related assessments.
Overall, while both oxygen production and carbon dioxide absorption are important processes associated with plant photosynthesis, the focus on carbon sequestration reflects the broader goals of climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability. Therefore, when assessing the environmental impact of plants, it is more common and relevant to calculate how much carbon dioxide is absorbed by the plant.
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