Date produced: 5th May 2006, while living at North Adelaide (2005-2006).
Carbon Dioxide, water, nutrients from soil and light are used by the tree in its photosynthesis processes (within its leaves) to produce energy-rich compounds that are used by the tree. A by-product of this same process is oxygen (Attenborough, D., Life on Earth, William Collins and BBC, Glasgow, 1979). Enormous numbers of ancient plants over an extremely long time changed the Earth's atmosphere from having very little oxygen, to having a reasonably large proportion of oxygen within it (Attenborough, D., Life on Earth, William Collins and BBC, Glasgow, 1979). Animals require oxygen for their life processes. Without having enormous amounts of photosynthesis within the biosphere to maintain close to current levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, the effect on all animal life (including us, of course) would be catastrophic.
This computer painting tries to show a new (pale blue) gas coming from the foliage of the tree after the tree 'consumes' a yellowy brown gas (carbon dioxide) in the presence of sunlight. The other most important ingredient however is water, which provides the actual oxygen (as a by-product of having the hydrogen used in the photosynthesis processes). I've tried to suggest the presence of ground water being drawn into the tree in the final version.
The two coloured bars along the bottom try to indicate the processes involved in plants firstly converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, and then animals converting oxygen back to carbon dioxide.