The Latest Global Warming Scandal – United Nations IPPC Chief Cashing In – $100’s of Millions Made By Putting 1700 Steel Workers Out of Work

HEAT OF THE MOMENT

U.N. climate chief cashes in on carbon

Tied to conglomerate that stands to make hundreds of millions in emissions scheme

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

NEW YORK – A story emerging out of Britain suggests “follow the money” may explain the enthusiasm of the United Nations to pursue caps on carbon emissions, despite doubts surfacing in the scientific community about the validity of the underlying global warming  hypothesis.

A Mumbai-based Indian multinational conglomerate with business ties to Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chairman since 2002 of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, stands to make several hundred million dollars in European Union carbon credits simply by closing a steel production facility in Britain with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The Tata Group headquartered in Mumbai anticipates receiving windfall profits of up to nearly $2 billion from closing the Corus Redcar steelmaking plant in Britain, with about half of the savings expected to result from cashing in on carbon credits granted the steelmaker by the European Union under the EU’s emissions-trading scheme.

Corus has accumulated 7.5 million European Union surplus carbon allowances, given the company free by the EU, after corporate officials lobbied EU officials aggressively in Brussels.

The Corus-owned 7.5 million allowances are estimated at up to $650 million; the company also anticipates “saving” 6 million tons of carbon dioxide by closing the plant and not producing the plant’s capacity of 3 million tons of steel. The 6 million tons of carbon dioxide is worth an estimated $130 million at current rates and possibly as much as $325 million at expected market levels.

The British government also announced Wednesday it would auction off rather than cancel the millions of carbon permits resulting from the Corus Redcar steel-plant closing. The Corus Redcar facility is scheduled to be closed in January, and if the facility is to be closed more than 50 days, Corus would not be entitled to receive the permits, worth about $147.5 million per year at current market rates.

How does the closing of a steelmaker in Britain tie to the chairman of the U.N.’s global-warming science committee?

In 1974, the Tata Group provided the financial resources to found the Tata Energy Research Institute, or TERI, a policy organization headquartered in New Delhi, India, of which Pachauri has been chairman since the group was formed.

Continued business ties between TERI and Tata are demonstrated by a press announcement on the TERI website dated Feb. 4 in which Jairam Ramesh, the Indian minister of state for commerce and industry as well as minister of state for power, announced a joint venture with TERI and Tata power to extract and use carbon dioxide for the propagation of microalgae.

On Dec. 10, 2007, Pachauri shared with Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. At the Nobel ceremonies, Pachauri in his Nobel lecture openly represented the U.N.’s IPCC.

The Tata Group decision to close the Corus steelmaking plant has caused the Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown political difficulties. Manufacturing accounted for 22.5 percent of Britain’s economic output when Labour came to power in 1997, while it accounts for little more than 11 percent today, according to the London Times. (McAuleys World – in the last 12 years of Labor Party Rule, Britian has lost 1/2 of its manufacturing base – the vast majority of that loss has occured since Gordon Brown took office just 2 years ago – http://u.tv/News/Where-did-all-go-wrong-for-Gordon-Brown/e553a4b7-50d7-4925-8c16-08f037d589f8)

Arguing that the Brown government needs to provide financial assistance to manufacturing in Britain, Kirby Adams, the chief executive officer of Corus, told the newspaper, “Jobs paying £30,000 ($50,000) a year are only in manufacturing sectors or sectors where you are adding value – you are not going to make that flipping burgers.”

He added: “In some way I hope that this [decision to close Corus Redcar] will be the final wake-up call or alarm bell to get things across to people in Whitehall and Westminster – we need to help other sectors of the economy, not just the columns of the Bank of England.”

In July, thousands of steelworkers marched in Redcar, North Yorks, England, protesting the proposed closing of the Corus steelmaking facility.

The European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System began operations in January 2005, billing itself as “the largest multi-country, multi-sector Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading system worldwide.”

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=118659

McAuleysWorld: In very plain terms – this is how the “Cap & Trade” scandal will work. Manufacturing facilities throughout Western Europe and the United States will be purchased and closed or will have their production curtailed significantly, creating “Carbon Credits” ….. these “Credits” are then sold to these same companies competitors, be it in China, India or another “developing country” …. where the “production” will be transfered … frequently with an end result that the new location or facility actually produces more evironmentally harmful polution. (Yes, you can question global warming and still recognize industrial poillution as a negative – “Global Warming” and “Cap & Trade” scams have nothing to do with improving the environment – they are tools for the redistribution of wealth – nothing more – nothing less. Gloabl Warming was the tool needed to create “Cap & Trade” – “Cap & Trade” is the vehicle for the redistribution of wealth and the transfer of jobs from the industrialized nations to the developing world ……. all you need do is follow the money ………    

 

ClimateGate: Scientists Respond To Data Manipulation

Dear fellow member of the American Physical Society:

This is a matter of great importance to the integrity of the Society. It is being sent to a random fraction of the membership, so we hope you will pass it on.

By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen in our cumulative 223 years of APS membership. For those who have missed the news we recommend the excellent summary article by Richard Lindzen in the November 30 edition of the Wall Street journal, entitled “The Climate Science isn’t Settled,” for a balanced account of the situation. It was written by a scientist of unquestioned authority and integrity. A copy can be found among the items at http://tinyurl.com/lg266u , and a visit to http://www.ClimateDepot.com can fill in the details of the scandal, while adding spice.

What has this to do with APS? In 2007 the APS Council adopted a Statement on global warming (also reproduced at the tinyurl site mentioned above) that was based largely on the scientific work that is now revealed to have been corrupted. (The principals in this escapade have not denied what they did, but have sought to dismiss it by saying that it is normal practice among scientists. You know and we know that that is simply untrue. Physicists are not expected to cheat.)

We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done.

None of us would use corrupted science in our own work, nor would we sign off on a thesis by a student who did so. This is not only a matter of science, it is a matter of integrity, and the integrity of the APS is now at stake. That is why we are taking the unusual step of communicating directly with at least a fraction of the membership.

If you believe that the APS should withdraw a Policy Statement that is based on admittedly corrupted science, and should then undertake to clarify the real state of the art in the best tradition of a learned society, please send a note to the incoming President of the APS ccallan@princeton.edu, with the single word YES in the subject line. That will make it easier for him to count.

Bob Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Hal Lewis, emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Will Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics, Hartford

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/07/dissenting-members-ask-aps-to-put-their-policy-statment-on-ice-due-to-climategate/#more-13841

The above was edited without the permission of McAuley’s World ….. the original letter contained the following – this can be confirmed by visiting the site through the above link:

“on the scientific work that is now revealed to have been corrupted. (The principals in this escapade have not denied what they did, but have sought to dismiss it by saying that it is normal practice among scientists. You know and we know that that is simply untrue. Physicists are not expected to cheat.)

We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done.

None of us would use corrupted science in our own work, nor would we sign off on a thesis by a student who did so. This is not only a matter of science, it is a matter of integrity, and the integrity of the APS is now at stake. That is why we are taking the unusual step of communicating directly with at least a fraction of the membership.

If you believe that the APS should withdraw a Policy Statement that is based on admittedly corrupted science, and should then undertake to clarify the real state of the art in the best tradition of a learned society, please send a note to the incoming President of the APS ccallan@princeton.edu, with the single word YES in the subject line. That will make it easier for him to count”.

Global Warming: Gore Caught “Fabricating” facts at Copenhagen Conference

From The TIMESONLINE

December 15, 2009

Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.

The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.“It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community. “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusets Institute of Technology who does not believe that global warming is largely caused by man, said: “He’s just extrapolated from 2007, when there was a big retreat, and got zero.” (Also see: Syun Akasofu
International Arctic Research Center – immediately below)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/copenhagen/article6956783.ece

As to the actual state of the artic and its ice, why not read what was written by one of the world’s preeminent Scientists in this field:

THE IPCC’S FAILURE OF PREDICTING THE TEMPERATURE CHANGE DURING THE FIRST DECADE

Syun Akasofu
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7340

The global average temperature stopped increasing after 2000 against the IPCC’s prediction of continued rapid increase. It is a plain fact and does not require any pretext. Their failure stems from the fact that the IPCC emphasized the greenhouse effect of CO2 by slighting the natural causes of temperature changes.

The changes of the global average temperature during the last century and the first decade of the present century can mostly be explained by two natural causes, a linear increase which began in about 1800 and the multi-decadal oscillation superposed on the linear increase.  There is not much need for introducing the CO2 effect in the temperature changes. The linear increase is the recovery (warming) from the Little Ice Age (LIA), which the earth experienced from about 1400 to 1800.

The halting of the temperature rise during the first decade of the present century can naturally be explained by the fact that the linear increase has been overwhelmed by the superposed multi-decadal oscillation which peaked in about 2000.*

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/20/dr-syun-akasofu-on-ipccs-forecast-accuracy/#more-6368

McAuley’s World – While polar ice had retreated in 2007 from the record levels of the 1960’s, the retreat noted in 2007 has reversed itself and the levels have returned to those of thye early 1960’s. Again the issue remains whether any of the observed changes are anything more than  a normal variation of earth’s complex ecosystem?

For more on the Copenhagen Conference see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/16/copenhagen-highlights-the-latest-evidence-of-global-torture/   …… “Something is Rotten In Denmark …… But the metaphorical stench comes from the well-financed bad science and bad policy, promulgated by the UN, and the complicity of the so-called world leaders, thinking of themselves as modern-day King Canutes (the Viking king of Denmark, England, and Norway — who ironically ruled during the Medieval Warm Period this very group has tried to deny). His flatterers thought his powers “so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back.”

Unlike the warmists and the compliant media, Canute knew otherwise, and indeed the tide kept rising. Nature will do what nature always did — change.

It’s the data, stupid

If we torture the data long enough, it will confess. (Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, 1991). 

The Climategate whistleblower proved what those of us dealing with data for decades know to be the case — namely, data was being manipulated. The IPCC and their supported scientists have worked to remove the pesky Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and the period emailer Tom Wigley referred to as the “warm 1940s blip,” and to pump up the recent warm cycle.

Attention has focused on the emails dealing with Michael Mann’s hockey stick and other proxy attempts, most notably those of Keith Briffa. Briffa was conflicted in this whole process, noting he “[tried] hard to balance the needs of the IPCC with science, which were not always the same,” and that he knew “ … there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data.’”

ALSO SEE:                                                                                                                                                                                                          

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/global-warming-religion-or-science-beware-climate-of-conformity/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/global-warming-welcome-to-the-new-ice-age-reports-canadas-national-post/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/global-warming-brink-of-a-new-ice-age-asks-woods-hole-oceanographic-institution/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/global-warming-myths-debunked-great-lakes-freeze-over/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/global-warming-the-boston-globe-reviews-the-scientific-data/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/climate-gate-the-scientific-method-scientific-intregrity-where-it-all-began-the-mcintyre-presentationohio-state-university-may-16-2008/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/climate-gate-global-warming-the-myth-co2-the-greatest-scientific-scandal-of-our-time/        

Climate Gate – Global Warming The Myth: CO2 The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time

The following article by Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., was published, after peer review, in March 2007. Dr. Jaworski was one of the first to point out the loss of scientific integrity in the field of global warming research.

CO2 – The Greatest Scientific Scandal Of Our Time
By: Dr. Zbigniew Jaworski, M.D., Ph. D., D.Sc.
ERI Science March 16, 2007

Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, one of our planets first climate change specialists, is a multidisciplinary scientist, now a senior advisor at the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw. In the winter of 1957-58, he measured the concentration of CO2 in the atmospheric air at Spitsbergen. From 1972 to 1991, he investigated the history of the pollution of the global atmosphere, measuring the dust preserved in 17 glaciers: in the Tatra Mountains in Poland, Antarctic, Alaska, Norway, the Alps, the Himalayas, the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda, and the Peruvian Andes. He has published many papers on climate, most of them concerning the CO2 measurements in ice cores. Two of his papers on climate appear on the website of 21st Century Science & Technology magazine. www.21stcenturysciencetech.com. Dr Jaworski is one of the world’s preeminent scholars in the field of ice core analysis.

Introduction

On Feb. 2, 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) again uttered its mantra of catastrophe about man-made global warming. After weeks of noisy propaganda, a 21-page “Summary for Policymakers” of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007, was presented in grandiose style to a crowd of politicians and media, accompanied by a blackout of the Eiffel Tower to show that electric energy is bad. The event induced a tsunami of hysteria that ran around the world. This was probably the main aim of this clearly political paper, prepared by governmental and United Nations bureaucrats and published more than three months before the IPCC’s 1,600-page scientific report, which was not released until May 2007.

In the words of the IPCC, the delay was needed so that, “Changes . . . [could be] made to ensure consistency with the ‘Summary for Policymakers.” Not a single word in these 1,600 pages was allowed to be in conflict with what the politicians (and bureaucrats) said beforehand in the summary! (In fact several of the original findings and conclusions made by the panel of investigating scientists were changed prior to the publication of the actual report – conclusions that were not in “lockstep” with the desired political conclusions were deleted from the report).

This is a strange and unusual method of operation for a scientific report, and even stranger is the frankness of the IPCC’s words about the delay, disclosing its lack of scientific integrity and independence. It is exactly the same modus operandi demonstrated in the three former IPCC reports of 1990, 1995, and 2001. ……

The Four Basic IPCC Lies

The four basic statements in the “Summary for Policymakers” are:

1).Carbon dioxide, an important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, increased markedly as a result of human activities and its atmospheric concentration of 379 ppmv (parts per million, by volume) in 2005 by far exceeding the natural range of 180 to 300 ppmv over the last 650,000 years.

2. Since 1750, human activities warmed the climate.

3. The warmth of the last half-century is unusual, is the highest in at least the past 1,300 years, and is “very likely” caused by increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

4. Predictions are made that anthropogenic warming will continue for centuries and between 2090 and 2099 the global average surface temperature will increase 1.1°C to 6.4°C.

Various scare stories of global catastrophes are prophesied to occur if man-made emissions are not curbed by drastic political decisions.The obvious beneficial effects of warming are downplayed. (Beneficial effects include larger crop yields, reducing the likelyhood of continued global famine).

Except for the pronouncements concerning CO2, all these points are garlanded with qualifications such as “likely,” “very likely,” “extremely likely” and “unequivocal.”

In fact, to the contrary, all 4 of these points are incorrect.

The first “Summary for Policymakers” statement on the man-made increase of CO2, is a cornerstone of the IPCC report, and of the global warming edifice.

This statement is a half-truth.

It is true that CO2 is “an important anthropogenic [trace] greenhouse gas,” but a much more important greenhouse factor is the water naturally in the atmosphere, which contributes some 95% to the total greenhouse effect. This basic fact is not mentioned at all in the “Summary for Policymakers.”

Also not mentioned is the fact that 97% of the total annual emission of CO2 into the atmosphere comes from natural emissions of the land and sea, human beings add a mere 3%. This man-made 3% of CO2 is responsible for a tiny fraction of the total greenhouse gas, probably close to 0.12%. (12 hundredth’s of 1%).

Propositions of changing, or rather destroying, the global energy system because of this tiny human contribution, in face of the large short-term and long-term natural fluctuations of atmospheric CO2, are utterly irresponsible.

The Truth About Ice Cores

Because carbon dioxide ice core records are regarded as a foundation of the man-made global warming hypothesis, let us dwell on them for a while.

The basic assumption behind the CO2 glaciology is a tacit view that air inclusions in ice are a closed system, which permanently preserves the original chemical and isotopic composition of gas, and thus that the inclusions are a suitable matrix for reliable reconstruction of the pre-industrial and ancient atmosphere.

This assumption is in conflict with ample evidence from numerous earlier CO2 studies, indicating the opposite (see review in Jaworowski et al. 1992b).

Proxy determinations of the atmospheric CO2 level by analysis of ice cores, reported since 1985, have been generally lower than the levels measured recently in the atmosphere. But, before 1985, the ice cores were showing values much higher than the current atmospheric concentrations. (Jaworowski et al. 1992b). These recent proxy ice core values remained low during the entire past 650,000 years (Siegenthaler et al. 2005) even during the six former interglacial periods, when the global temperature was as much as 5°C warmer than in our current interglacial!

This means that either atmospheric CO2 levels have no discernible influence on climate (which is true), or that the proxy ice core reconstructions of the chemical composition of the ancient atmosphere are false (which is also true, as shown below).

It was never experimentally demonstrated that ice core records reliably represent the original atmospheric composition. Other proxies demonstrated that many millions of years ago CO2 levels in the atmosphere reached, at various times, 377, 450, and even 3,500 ppmv (Kurschner et al. 1996, Royer et al. 2001), and that during the past 10,000 years these levels were, as a rule, higher than 300 ppmv, fluctuating up to 348 ppmv (Kurschner et al. 1996, Royer et al. 2001, Wagner et al 1999, Wagner et al. 2002).

The results of these last studies prove false the assertion of stabilized Holocene CO2 concentrations of 270 ppmv to 280 ppmv until the industrial revolution. (Global warming alarmist claim this false level of atmospheric level of CO2 – it is the base level from which they claim an alarming increase has occurred).

The results of the cited pre-1985 studies are strongly supported by direct CO2 measurements, carried out in the pre-industrial and 20th-Century atmosphere. About 2 billion years ago, the CO2 atmospheric level was 100 or perhaps even 1,000 times higher than today. According to today’s climate models, the Earth would have been too hot for life at that time (Ohmoto et al. 2004).

However, geologic evidence suggests there was not a Venus-style, “runaway warming.” Instead, life flourished then in the oceans and land, with such enormously high levels of this “gas of life,” from which our bodies and all living creatures are built (Godlewski 1873). Yet, Greens now call this gas a dangerous “pollutant.”

The Hockey Stick Curves

On the basis of assumption piled upon assumption, several versions of CO2 “hockey stick curves” were compiled by combining distorted proxy ice core data and direct atmospheric CO2 measurements.

These so-called hockey stick curves were published countless times as a proof of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 in the atmophere.

These measurements were created by illegitimately mixing proxy ice core data with direct measurements in the atmosphere.
“…. falsified CO2 “hockey stick curves” were presented in all the IPCC reports, including the “Summary for Policymakers” issued in 2007….”

These hockey sticks were credulously accepted by almost everyone, together with other information on greenhouse gases determined in the ice cores, which were plagued by improper manipulation of data an arbitrary rejection of the high readings from “old ice” and an arbritary rejection of low readings from “young ice”, simply because the data did not fit the preconceived idea of man-made global warming. (Yes, the study “excluded all data” that did not fit the preconceived and desired outcome – the data which tended to disprove the desired outcome was excluded from the report).

Dr. Jaworski’s compelling report can be read in its entirety (with supporting graphs and references) here:
http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/2007_10-19/2007-11/pdf/38_711_science.pdf 

Global Warming: The Myth – Carbon Dioxide a Pollutant – Without CO2 There Would Be No Life On Earth

First, lets make one thing perfectly clear – the pollutant that comes out of the tailpipe of your car is not Carbon Dioxide (CO2) it is Carbon Monoxide (CO).

Without CO2 there would be no plant life on earth, without plant life there would be no animal life.

By the way – human beings are considered animal life.

A major reduction in CO2 levels will result in reduced crop yeilds and world wide famine  …..  Increased CO2 levels lead to increased crop yeilds. Did you know that green houses actually “pump” CO2 into there controlled atmospheres to improve plant growth?

Read on ……

PHOTOSYNTHESIS

What is Photosynthesis?  

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, some bacteria, and some protistans use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the “fuel” used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll. Most of the time, the photosynthetic process uses water and releases the oxygen that we absolutely must have to stay alive. Oh yes, we need the food as well!

We can write the overall reaction of this process as:

6H2O + 6CO2 ———-> C6H12O6+ 6O2

Most of us don’t speak chemicalese, so the above chemical equation translates as:

six molecules of water plus six molecules of carbon dioxide produce one molecule of sugar plus six molecules of oxygen

Through the process of photsynthesis plants combine light with water and CO2 to produce their plant food (sugars) needed for growth and as a byproduct plants produce the oxygen we breath. Without CO2 this process would come to an end and life on earth would cease to exist.

 Diagram of a typical plant, showing the inputs and outputs of the photosynthetic process. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Leaves and Leaf Structure

Plants are the only photosynthetic organisms to have leaves (and not all plants have leaves). A leaf may be viewed as a solar collector crammed full of photosynthetic cells.

The raw materials of photosynthesis, water and carbon dioxide, enter the cells of the leaf, and the products of photosynthesis, sugar and oxygen, leave the leaf.

Cross section of a leaf, showing the anatomical features important to the study of photosynthesis: stoma, guard cell, mesophyll cells, and vein. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Water enters the root and is transported up to the leaves through specialized plant cells known as xylem (pronounces zigh-lem). Land plants must guard against drying out (desiccation) and so have evolved specialized structures known as stomata to allow gas to enter and leave the leaf. Carbon dioxide cannot pass through the protective waxy layer covering the leaf (cuticle), but it can enter the leaf through an opening (the stoma; plural = stomata; Greek for hole) flanked by two guard cells. Likewise, oxygen produced during photosynthesis can only pass out of the leaf through the opened stomata. Unfortunately for the plant, while these gases are moving between the inside and outside of the leaf, a great deal water is also lost. Cottonwood trees, for example, will lose 100 gallons of water per hour during hot desert days. Carbon dioxide enters single-celled and aquatic autotrophs through no specialized structures.

Pea Leaf Stoma, Vicea sp. (SEM x3,520). This image is copyright Dennis Kunkel at www.DennisKunkel.com, used with permission.

The Nature of Light

White light is separated into the different colors (=wavelengths) of light by passing it through a prism. Wavelength is defined as the distance from peak to peak (or trough to trough). The energy of is inversely porportional to the wavelength: longer wavelengths have less energy than do shorter ones.

Wavelength and other aspects of the wave nature of light. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The order of colors is determined by the wavelength of light. Visible light is one small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer the wavelength of visible light, the more red the color. Likewise the shorter wavelengths are towards the violet side of the spectrum. Wavelengths longer than red are referred to as infrared, while those shorter than violet are ultraviolet.

The electromagnetic spectrum. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Light behaves both as a wave and a particle. Wave properties of light include the bending of the wave path when passing from one material (medium) into another (i.e. the prism, rainbows, pencil in a glass-of-water, etc.). The particle properties are demonstrated by the photoelectric effect. Zinc exposed to ultraviolet light becomes positively charged because light energy forces electrons from the zinc. These electrons can create an electrical current. Sodium, potassium and selenium have critical wavelengths in the visible light range. The critical wavelength is the maximum wavelength of light (visible or invisible) that creates a photoelectric effect.

Chlorophyll and Accessory Pigments

A pigment is any substance that absorbs light. The color of the pigment comes from the wavelengths of light reflected (in other words, those not absorbed). Chlorophyll, the green pigment common to all photosynthetic cells, absorbs all wavelengths of visible light except green, which it reflects to be detected by our eyes. Black pigments absorb all of the wavelengths that strike them. White pigments/lighter colors reflect all or almost all of the energy striking them. Pigments have their own characteristic absorption spectra, the absorption pattern of a given pigment.

Absorption and transmission of different wavelengths of light by a hypothetical pigment. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Chlorophyll is a complex molecule. Several modifications of chlorophyll occur among plants and other photosynthetic organisms. All photosynthetic organisms (plants, certain protistans, prochlorobacteria, and cyanobacteria) have chlorophyll a. Accessory pigments absorb energy that chlorophyll a does not absorb. Accessory pigments include chlorophyll b (also c, d, and e in algae and protistans), xanthophylls, and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene). Chlorophyll a absorbs its energy from the Violet-Blue and Reddish orange-Red wavelengths, and little from the intermediate (Green-Yellow-Orange) wavelengths.

 Molecular model of chlorophyll. The above image is from http://www.nyu.edu:80/pages/mathmol/library/photo.

Molecular model of carotene. The above image is from http://www.nyu.edu:80/pages/mathmol/library/photo.

Carotenoids and chlorophyll b absorb some of the energy in the green wavelength. Why not so much in the orange and yellow wavelengths? Both chlorophylls also absorb in the orange-red end of the spectrum (with longer wavelengths and lower energy). The origins of photosynthetic organisms in the sea may account for this. Shorter wavelengths (with more energy) do not penetrate much below 5 meters deep in sea water. The ability to absorb some energy from the longer (hence more penetrating) wavelengths might have been an advantage to early photosynthetic algae that were not able to be in the upper (photic) zone of the sea all the time.

The molecular structure of chlorophylls. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The action spectrum of photosynthesis is the relative effectiveness of different wavelengths of light at generating electrons. If a pigment absorbs light energy, one of three things will occur. Energy is dissipated as heat. The energy may be emitted immediately as a longer wavelength, a phenomenon known as fluorescence. Energy may trigger a chemical reaction, as in photosynthesis. Chlorophyll only triggers a chemical reaction when it is associated with proteins embedded in a membrane (as in a chloroplast) or the membrane infoldings found in photosynthetic prokaryotes such as cyanobacteria and prochlorobacteria.

Absorption spectrum of several plant pigments (left) and action spectrum of elodea (right), a common aquarium plant used in lab experiments about photosynthesis. Images from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The structure of the chloroplast and photosynthetic membranes

The thylakoid is the structural unit of photosynthesis. Both photosynthetic prokaryotes and eukaryotes have these flattened sacs/vesicles containing photosynthetic chemicals. Only eukaryotes have chloroplasts with a surrounding membrane.

Thylakoids are stacked like pancakes in stacks known collectively as grana. The areas between grana are referred to as stroma. While the mitochondrion has two membrane systems, the chloroplast has three, forming three compartments.

Structure of a chloroplast. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Stages of Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a two stage process. The first process is the Light Dependent Process (Light Reactions), requires the direct energy of light to make energy carrier molecules that are used in the second process. The Light Independent Process (or Dark Reactions) occurs when the products of the Light Reaction are used to form C-C covalent bonds of carbohydrates. The Dark Reactions can usually occur in the dark, if the energy carriers from the light process are present. Recent evidence suggests that a major enzyme of the Dark Reaction is indirectly stimulated by light, thus the term Dark Reaction is somewhat of a misnomer. The Light Reactions occur in the grana and the Dark Reactions take place in the stroma of the chloroplasts.

Overview of the two steps in the photosynthesis process. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Light Reactions

In the Light Dependent Processes (Light Reactions) light strikes chlorophyll a in such a way as to excite electrons to a higher energy state. In a series of reactions the energy is converted (along an electron transport process) into ATP and NADPH. Water is split in the process, releasing oxygen as a by-product of the reaction. The ATP and NADPH are used to make C-C bonds in the Light Independent Process (Dark Reactions).

In the Light Independent Process, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (or water for aquatic/marine organisms) is captured and modified by the addition of Hydrogen to form carbohydrates (general formula of carbohydrates is [CH2O]n). The incorporation of carbon dioxide into organic compounds is known as carbon fixation. The energy for this comes from the first phase of the photosynthetic process. Living systems cannot directly utilize light energy, but can, through a complicated series of reactions, convert it into C-C bond energy that can be released by glycolysis and other metabolic processes.

Photosystems are arrangements of chlorophyll and other pigments packed into thylakoids. Many Prokaryotes have only one photosystem, Photosystem II (so numbered because, while it was most likely the first to evolve, it was the second one discovered). Eukaryotes have Photosystem II plus Photosystem I. Photosystem I uses chlorophyll a, in the form referred to as P700. Photosystem II uses a form of chlorophyll a known as P680. Both “active” forms of chlorophyll a function in photosynthesis due to their association with proteins in the thylakoid membrane.

Action of a photosystem. This image is from the University of Minnesota page at http://genbiol.cbs.umn.edu/Multimedia/examples.html.

Photophosphorylation is the process of converting energy from a light-excited electron into the pyrophosphate bond of an ADP molecule. This occurs when the electrons from water are excited by the light in the presence of P680. The energy transfer is similar to the chemiosmotic electron transport occurring in the mitochondria. Light energy causes the removal of an electron from a molecule of P680 that is part of Photosystem II. The P680 requires an electron, which is taken from a water molecule, breaking the water into H+ ions and O-2 ions. These O-2 ions combine to form the diatomic O2 that is released. The electron is “boosted” to a higher energy state and attached to a primary electron acceptor, which begins a series of redox reactions, passing the electron through a series of electron carriers, eventually attaching it to a molecule in Photosystem I. Light acts on a molecule of P700 in Photosystem I, causing an electron to be “boosted” to a still higher potential. The electron is attached to a different primary electron acceptor (that is a different molecule from the one associated with Photosystem II). The electron is passed again through a series of redox reactions, eventually being attached to NADP+ and H+ to form NADPH, an energy carrier needed in the Light Independent Reaction. The electron from Photosystem II replaces the excited electron in the P700 molecule. There is thus a continuous flow of electrons from water to NADPH. This energy is used in Carbon Fixation. Cyclic Electron Flow occurs in some eukaryotes and primitive photosynthetic bacteria. No NADPH is produced, only ATP. This occurs when cells may require additional ATP, or when there is no NADP+ to reduce to NADPH. In Photosystem II, the pumping to H ions into the thylakoid and the conversion of ADP + P into ATP is driven by electron gradients established in the thylakoid membrane.

Noncyclic photophosphorylation (top) and cyclic photophosphorylation (bottom). These processes are better known as the light reactions. Images from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The above diagrams present the “old” view of photophosphorylation. We now know where the process occurs in the chloroplast, and can link that to chemiosmotic synthesis of ATP.

Chemiosmosis as it operates in photophosphorylation within a chloroplast. Images from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

Halobacteria, which grow in extremely salty water, are facultative aerobes, they can grow when oxygen is absent. Purple pigments, known as retinal (a pigment also found in the human eye) act similar to chlorophyll. The complex of retinal and membrane proteins is known as bacteriorhodopsin, which generates electrons which establish a proton gradient that powers an ADP-ATP pump, generating ATP from sunlight without chlorophyll. This supports the theory that chemiosmotic processes are universal in their ability to generate ATP.

Dark Reaction

Carbon-Fixing Reactions are also known as the Dark Reactions (or Light Independent Reactions). Carbon dioxide enters single-celled and aquatic autotrophs through no specialized structures, diffusing into the cells. Land plants must guard against drying out (desiccation) and so have evolved specialized structures known as stomata to allow gas to enter and leave the leaf. The Calvin Cycle occurs in the stroma of chloroplasts (where would it occur in a prokaryote?). Carbon dioxide is captured by the chemical ribulose biphosphate (RuBP). RuBP is a 5-C chemical. Six molecules of carbon dioxide enter the Calvin Cycle, eventually producing one molecule of glucose. The reactions in this process were worked out by Melvin Calvin (shown below).

The above image is from http://www-itg.lbl.gov/ImgLib/COLLECTIONS/BERKELEY-LAB/PEOPLE/INDIVIDUALS/index/BIOCHEM_523.html,

The first steps in the Calvin ccycle. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The first stable product of the Calvin Cycle is phosphoglycerate (PGA), a 3-C chemical. The energy from ATP and NADPH energy carriers generated by the photosystems is used to attach phosphates to (phosphorylate) the PGA. Eventually there are 12 molecules of glyceraldehyde phosphate (also known as phosphoglyceraldehyde or PGAL, a 3-C), two of which are removed from the cycle to make a glucose. The remaining PGAL molecules are converted by ATP energy to reform 6 RuBP molecules, and thus start the cycle again. Remember the complexity of life, each reaction in this process, as in Kreb’s Cycle, is catalyzed by a different reaction-specific enzyme.

C-4 Pathway

Some plants have developed a preliminary step to the Calvin Cycle (which is also referred to as a C-3 pathway), this preamble step is known as C-4. While most C-fixation begins with RuBP, C-4 begins with a new molecule, phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP), a 3-C chemical that is converted into oxaloacetic acid (OAA, a 4-C chemical) when carbon dioxide is combined with PEP. The OAA is converted to Malic Acid and then transported from the mesophyll cell into the bundle-sheath cell, where OAA is broken down into PEP plus carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide then enters the Calvin Cycle, with PEP returning to the mesophyll cell. The resulting sugars are now adjacent to the leaf veins and can readily be transported throughout the plant.

C-4 photosynthsis involves the separation of carbon fixation and carbohydrate systhesis in space and time. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The capture of carbon dioxide by PEP is mediated by the enzyme PEP carboxylase, which has a stronger affinity for carbon dioxide than does RuBP carboxylase When carbon dioxide levels decline below the threshold for RuBP carboxylase, RuBP is catalyzed with oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. The product of that reaction forms glycolic acid, a chemical that can be broken down by photorespiration, producing neither NADH nor ATP, in effect dismantling the Calvin Cycle. C-4 plants, which often grow close together, have had to adjust to decreased levels of carbon dioxide by artificially raising the carbon dioxide concentration in certain cells to prevent photorespiration. C-4 plants evolved in the tropics and are adapted to higher temperatures than are the C-3 plants found at higher latitudes. Common C-4 plants include crabgrass, corn, and sugar cane. Note that OAA and Malic Acid also have functions in other processes, thus the chemicals would have been present in all plants, leading scientists to hypothesize that C-4 mechanisms evolved several times independently in response to a similar environmental condition, a type of evolution known as convergent evolution.

Photorespiration. Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

We can see anatomical differences between C3 and C4 leaves.

Leaf anatomy (BELOW) of a C3 (top) and C4 (bottom) plant. Images from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com), used with permission.

The Carbon Cycle

Plants may be viewed as carbon sinks, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans by fixing it into organic chemicals. Plants also produce some carbon dioxide by their respiration, but this is quickly used by photosynthesis. Plants also convert energy from light into chemical energy of C-C covalent bonds. Animals are carbon dioxide producers that derive their energy from carbohydrates and other chemicals produced by plants by the process of photosynthesis.

The balance between the plant carbon dioxide removal and animal carbon dioxide generation is equalized also by the formation of carbonates in the oceans. This removes excess carbon dioxide from the air and water (both of which are in equilibrium with regard to carbon dioxide). Fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, as well as more recent fuels such as peat and wood generate carbon dioxide when burned. Fossil fuels are formed ultimately by organic processes, and represent also a tremendous carbon sink. Human activity has greatly increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in air. This increase has led to global warming, an increase in temperatures around the world, the Greenhouse Effect. The increase in carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the air has also led to acid rain, where water falls through polluted air and chemically combines with carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxides, producing rainfall with pH as low as 4. This results in fish kills and changes in soil pH which can alter the natural vegetation and uses of the land. The Global Warming problem can lead to melting of the ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica, raising sea-level as much as 120 meters. Changes in sea-level and temperature would affect climate changes, altering belts of grain production and rainfall patterns.

Email: mj.farabee@emcmail.maricopa.edu

Chosen Value of the Week 1/30/98

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Wednesday June 06 2007

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