What Equation Is Used To Calculate Photosynthetic Efficiency?


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Photosynthetic efficiency cannot be accurately determined. If you take a single leaf and consider the light that falls on it, only about 5 percent of the incident light energy forms the product of photosynthesis. Most of the energy that falls on the leaf is either left unabsorbed by the plant or is released as heat. Calculation of the photosynthetic efficiency universally can be explained through this scientific notation, for example, 200 = 2 x 102.

On an average, the earth receives an estimated 1 x 1024 calories of heat energy annually. The calorie unit we use is a measure of energy and is 1/1000th of the dietary calories we are more familiar with. The present estimate of the earth's annual photosynthesis is an estimated 200 billion tons of carbon per year. This is carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide that is converted into carbon in the form of sugar by photosynthesis. The sum total of energy amassed (worldwide) in the sugar produced by photosynthesis is about 2 x 1021 calories per year.

What remains now is to take the proportion of energy stored in sugars by photosynthesis to the total energy input form the sun. This value is about 0.2 per cent.

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