Plants dissipate excess sunlight as heat
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Science & Technology
- Photosynthesis is a life-sustaining process by which plants store solar energy as sugar molecules.
- However, if sunlight (solar energy) is in excess, it can lead to leaves being dehydrated and damaged
- The excess solar energy is transferred from the pigment chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green colour, to other pigments called carotenoids.
- The carotenoids then release the energy as heat
- The heat dissipation phenomenon occurs on a very fast time scale, in femtoseconds or quadrillionths of a second.
- The excess energy, if not released, leads to the creation of free radicals that can damage proteins and other important cellular molecules.