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    Law of Thermodynamics and Life on Earth

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    We can say that life on earth is supported by the sun as the ultimate energy source and that life on earth would not exist without this source of energy.

    How does this statement relate to the two laws of thermodynamics? Please provide examples.

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    The first law states that energy can not be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another.

    In the case of life on Earth (in this case the part of the biosphere that is supported by the energy from the Sun) plants (those having chlorophyll) use the energy of the Sun (sunlight) as an energy source to build up organic matter (mainly hydrocarbon substances) from water and carbon dioxide (from the air). As a by product oxygen is produced and vented to the air. The enormous amounts of plants on Earth from microscopic algae to giant Redwoods thus produce the unique atmospheric condition of Earth in our Solar System with an unstable (though it seems very stable) atmospheric content of oxygen in our air of around 21%. Enormous amounts ...