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Updated 07 November 2013

The sun: essential for life on earth

Life as we know it would not be possible without the heat and light of the sun.

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Life as we know it would not be possible without the heat and light of the sun.

Through the process of photosynthesis, the sun – along with water and carbon dioxide – enables plants to grow. In turn, the carbohydrates in plants form the primary source of energy for humans and many other life forms.

The infrared rays of the sun give us the warmth we need to live and the visible spectrum of sunlight enables us to see.

The sun also has an effect on our mood and emotional well-being. Research shows that too little exposure to sunlight can lead to so-called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a type of winter depression.

Sunlight also helps our bodies to form vitamin D underneath the skin. This vitamin helps us to build and maintain teeth and bones and helps the body to absorb calcium.

Reference:
Hawk, J.L.M. McGregor, J. (2000-2005) Understanding your skin: sunlight & skin cancer. Family Doctor Publications.

 
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