Algae were the first living organisms that emerged after the Big Bang. They converted carbon dioxide, CO2 in the environment into oxygen through photosynthesis and created enough oxygen in the atmosphere for other, more complex forms of life to evolve. Algae continue to absorb CO2 and contribute to the world's oxygen levels. It is estimated that over 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere is generated by algae.
Algae help to counteract global warming. When carbon enters the atmosphere as a consequence of our burning fossil fuels and general life processes, it goes into the water cycle via rivers, lakes and oceans. It is recycled by algae and plants which use sunlight and absorb chemical elements and CO2 to make carbohydrates, fix nutrients and release oxygen.
Now that we have destroyed so much of the world's rain forests, we are highly dependent on the oxygen produced by algae. As we face more environmental challenges, algae hold new solutions for us into the future, converting CO2 into oxygen and transforming environmental elements into nutrients suitable for human consumption.