How plants help the environment for children

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN

Every time we breathe out, we produce the gas carbon dioxide. But we need oxygen to breathe in. And it comes from the plants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air with their leaves. With the help of sunlight, they make something new out of water and carbon dioxide - namely sugar and oxygen. Plants need sugar to grow, but they release some of the oxygen back into the air. This process is called photosynthesis.

Three trillion trees

This happens billions of times in the forest every day. That is why the forest is a huge oxygen producer. Scientists estimate that there are three trillion trees in the world. That's more than 400 trees per person - that's a good thing! Because: The more carbon dioxide we blow into the air, the more important the work of the plants becomes. Carbon dioxide is also produced when crude oil, gas and coal are burned - i.e. when driving, heating and in industry. And that's bad for our climate, because carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas". It collects in the upper layers of air around our earth, which are called the "atmosphere". If there is too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, the sun's heat can no longer escape properly and the earth becomes warmer and warmer.

This is explained in more detail here: To the article "Climate change".