I've come across a person who tried to disprove photosynthesis (yeah, I know). The basically took numbers of record sugar beet crop in Chile (192 tonnes per hectare), and tried to calculate how much air the plant would consume in order to grow. They've ended up calculating that a square meter of sugar beet field needs 7.32 cubic meters of air per hour, and they decided that this is too much, as it is amount 14 people breath in, hence their conclusion is the photosynthesis isn't real.
Where's the error?
The numbers they ended up with were:
- 125 days to harvest.
- That is 127 kg per hour per hectare, or 12.7 gramms per hour per square meter.
- Dry mass of beet is 15% hence 1.9 grams per square meters per hour.
- 45% of that is carbon which is 0.86.
- Carbon is 27% of mass of CO2 (12/44), since one cubic meter of air weighs 1.22 kg and that is 0.117 grams of carbon.
At this point they assumed that a square meter of sugar beet should "pump" 7.37 cubic meters of air through their leaves in order to produce this kind of harvest.
Where is the error (or more than one)?