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Work Meets LifeExploring the Integrative Study of Work in Living Systems$
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Robert Levin, Simon Laughlin, Christina De La Rocha, and Alan Blackwell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014120

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014120.001.0001

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The Impact of Photosynthetic Work on Earth, Climate, and the Biosphere

The Impact of Photosynthetic Work on Earth, Climate, and the Biosphere

(p.97) 4 The Impact of Photosynthetic Work on Earth, Climate, and the Biosphere
Work Meets Life

Christina De La Rocha

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the photosynthesis as a work process. It demonstrates how inefficiency in the work process can be determined. It shows that the work of photosynthesis affected the work of the biosphere more generally. It suggests that an unexpected effect of the photosynthetic input of energy into the biosphere in both the case of the biological pump in the ocean and of the impact of land plants on rock weathering is that the climate of Earth is cooler than it would be in the absence of life. Moreover, the innovation of the work of oxygenic photosynthesis changed the way life on Earth worked.

Keywords:   oxygenic photosynthesis, work process, biosphere, energy, climate, Earth, rock weathering, land plants, biological pump, ocean

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