Biosphere Essay, Research Paper
Definition of the Environment
The environment consists of four overlapping components, which play a vital role in sustaining life on Earth. The four components are the Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Hydrosphere and Biosphere each works hand in hand with each other, without one of these components this would upset the delicate balance of the environment.
The atmosphere is a mixture of transparent and odorless gases, which is surrounding the earth in a layer, which is held in place by the Earth gravitational pull.
The lithosphere is the Earth’s solid shell, which is constantly changing, some changes occur dramatically whilst other may take millions of years to form.
The Hydrosphere is the interconnected system of water storage in the atmosphere and lithosphere.
The biosphere the surface zone of the Earth and its adjacent atmosphere, in which all organic life exists.
Interaction of the Environments Components
The Environments components all work together, each one some how is connected to the other components some how.
HYDROSPHERE is connected to the:
Atmosphere: Water is transferred between the hydrosphere and biosphere by evaporation and precipitation.
Biosphere: plants withdraw water from the ground using their root systems and transport water and nutrients through to stems and leaves. Evaporation of water from the leaf surface is effective at transferring water to the atmosphere.
Lithosphere: Water is the primary agent for the chemical and mechanical breakdown of rock, called weathering, to form loose rock fragments and soil. By the process of erosion, water sculpts the surface of the Earth.
ATMOSPHERE is connected to the:
Hydrosphere: When the gases of the atmosphere come together with dissolved gases in water through a process known as gas exchange.
Biosphere: it works by the exchanges of carbon dioxide and oxygen between the biosphere and atmosphere.
Lithosphere: Volcanic eruptions emit gases to the atmosphere and atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in rainwater to produce a weak acid which is important for the breakdown (weathering) or rock exposed at the Earth surface.
BIOSPHERE is connected to the:
Atmosphere: Life processes involve a vast number of chemical reactions some of which either extract or emit gases from and to the atmosphere. For example, photosynthesis consumes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen whereas respiration does the opposite.
Hydrosphere: Water is essential for all living organisms on Earth and has played a key role in the evolution and sustenance of life on our planet. The biosphere as we know it would not exist without liquid water. Water is also important for transport the soluble nutrients that are needed for plant growth, and for transporting the waste products of life’s chemical reactions.
Lithosphere: The Lithosphere and biosphere are intimately connected through soils, which consist of a mixture of air, mineral matter, organic matter, and water. In fact, one could consider soil as composed of all four spheres.
LITHOSPHERE is connected to the:
Atmosphere: Each year volcanoes spew significant amounts of gases into the atmosphere. When this happens the Atmosphere tries to filter the gases from the eruption.
Hydrosphere: Water is the main agent of chemical and mechanical erosion of the earth surface. When water flows over land it mechanically breaks rocks into finer particles and can chemically dissolve elements contained in rock-forming minerals
Biosphere: The weathering of the lithosphere to form soils provides plants with a firm substrate and vital nutrients and minerals needed for plant growth.
The term `Bio-diversity’ is indeed commonly used to describe the number, variety and variability of living organisms. This basically means Life on Earth.
Perception of the Environment
Some factors that affect people ’s perception of the environment, are that it’s is something that we can make money off, also when we get these resource they sometimes can have a damaging effect on the Earth’s environment and that the Earth can’t regenerate all of its resources.
For years Man has been exploiting the mineral resources of the lithosphere by mining of raw materials. For example, the mining and subsequent combustion of fossil fuels represents a transfer of carbon from the lithosphere to the atmosphere. By this process, man has accelerated the natural rate of transfer of carbon dioxide from the lithosphere to the atmosphere. In turn, the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to global warming by enhancing the greenhouse effect.