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Episode 602 (11-8-21): Photosynthesis Fun, Fundamentals, and Confluence with Climate Change

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station description From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean
‎Virginia Water Radio
Duration: 05:26
CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (5:26). Sections below are the following: Transcript of Audio Audio Notes and Acknowledgments Images Sources Related Water Radio Episodes For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.). Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-5-
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CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (5:26). Sections below are the following: Transcript of Audio Audio Notes and Acknowledgments Images Sources Related Water Radio Episodes For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.). Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-5-21. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman",serif;} TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 8, 2021. MUSIC – ~12 sec – instrumental. That’s part of “Racing the Sun,” by The Faux Paws, on that group’s 2021 self-titled album, from Great Bear Records. It opens a revised episode from November 2013, where we explore a sun-driven process that’s fundamental to life on earth: photosynthesis, the process where green plants and algae make food, using the energy in sunlight to store chemical energy in the form of glucose. Photosynthesis is also… VOICES IN SKIT - ~1 min./57 sec. REPORTER: We break into this show to bring you exclusive audio from the Virginia Tech campus, where a shadowy team of scientists are tinkering with the process underlying all life on earth. They haven’t yet revealed their possibly nefarious plans, so let’s listen in... SCIENTIST 1: With this terrarium, we have a model system to test our carbon dioxide-manipulation scheme, and soon we’ll be ready to control earth’s fundamental food-producing process... SCIENTISTS 1 and 2: Photosynthesis! SCIENTIST 2: Are all the components of the system ready? Green plants with chlorophyll? SCIENTIST 1: Check! SCIENTIST 2: Soil with proper nutrients? SCIENTIST 1. Check! SCIENTIST 2. Light? SCIENTIST 1. Check! SCIENTIST 2. Water? SCIENTIST 1. Check! SCIENTIST 2. Air with CO2? SCIENTIST 1. CO2? SCIENTIST 2. That’s carbon dioxide! SCIENTIST 1. Oh...right...I mean, check! SCIENTIST 2. Let the photosynthesis start! Engage monitoring device! SCIENTIST 1. CO2 taken in from the air...water and nutrients being absorbed through roots...light falling on leaves. All systems go! Light energy is driving CO2 and water to combine and form glucose, the chemical-energy form, while releasing oxygen. SCIENTIST 2. Apply the CO2 inhibitor! SCIENTIST 1. Lid applied! CO2 source blocked...system CO2 levels dropping rapidly...plants responding as expected, using up available CO2. SCIENTIST 2. Reverse manipulation! Apply the CO2 increaser! SCIENTIST 1. Lid removed! CO2 added...plants responding. Wait, they’re responding too fast! They’re growing beyond the walls! One has me...aieeeeeeee! SCIENTIST 2. Now it’s got me, too! Noooooooo..... REPORTER: Well, this might be a good time for us to return to our regular show. Back to you.... END VOICES IN SKIT Unlike this skit, with its far-fetched human-eating plants, there’s nothing make-believe about Earth life’s reliance on photosynthesis using sunlight, chlorophyll, nutrients, water, and carbon dioxide to make food. Moreover, photosynthesis is a fundamental aspect of understanding and responding to climate change. Photosynthesis millions of years ago created the hydrocarbon compounds that constitute today’s fossil fuels, and photosynthesis now—absorbing and storing some of the carbon dioxide released in fossil fuel burning—has an important role in reducing Earth’s carbon dioxide levels, warming, and other climate-change impacts. For example, the capacity for photosynthesizing trees to take up atmospheric carbon dioxide was one aspec
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