JOIN MWU Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! Has Greek Roots The Greek roots of photosynthesis combine to produce the basic meaning “to put together with phto sythesis help of light”.
Photosynthesis is what first produced oxygen in the atmosphere billions of years ago, and it’s still what keeps it there. The study points out that abundant surface life on Earth was only possible after cyanobacteria evolved to engage in oxygen-producing photosynthesis, about 1. 5 billion years after the first life formed on Earth, which was roughly 4 billion years ago. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, “Martian Fossils Could Be Found Near Long-Buried Hydrothermal Vents,” 26 Dec. Semi-artificial photosynthesis, a relatively new field of study, aims to address those concerns by combining manmade technologies with biological processes in order to mimic nature’s method of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. Fox News, “Scientists invent way to create ‘unlimited renewable energy’,” 7 Sep.
Some new development like photosynthesis, some new surprise like an asteroid or a belch of volcanic carbon, throws a monkey wrench into the world order. Timefulness’ Review: Thinking in Eons,” 30 Dec. Artificial photosynthesis has been around for decades, but scientists haven’t been able to develop it on a scale large enough to support an industrial level, or that could operate without the use of expensive or polluting devices. Plants around the world absorbed those isotopes during photosynthesis, effectively turning them into a time stamp. Moises Velasquez-manoff, New York Times, “Can Dirt Save the Earth? Here on Earth, 21 percent of our atmosphere is made up of oxygen — thanks to the abundance of plants and other organisms that create oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Deborah Netburn, The Seattle Times, “Mars could have enough molecular oxygen to support life,” 26 Oct.
Properly managed woodlands help avoid emissions by not burning the trees and also draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Fred Krupp, WSJ, “Harness the Market to Manage the Climate,” 15 Oct. Brian Resnick, Vox, “When and where fall foliage colors will peak, in one map,” 13 Oct. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘photosynthesis. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.
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