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Earth as a System: Earth Spheres

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Kate Miller

on 9 September 2015

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Transcript of Earth as a System: Earth Spheres

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Earth as a System: Earth Spheres
A gaseous sphere that envelopes (surrounds) the Earth

Consists of a mixture of gases, primarily nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.
All of the water on Earth

71% of Earth is covered by water

96.5% is in the oceans
This is part of the hydrosphere but because it influences the world's climate so much, some scientists have given it its own sphere.

The portion of the Earth's surface where water is in a solid form

Snow or ice, includes glaciers, snow, icebergs, and even frozen tundra.
Lithosphere (Geosphere)
The Earth's solid surface

Includes continental and oceanic crust as well as the different layers of the Earth's interior
All life on Earth including man

The life zone on our planet distinguishes our planet from the others in the solar system
Man (people) and his/her direct ancestors, hominids

The human population, its buildings, dams, and other constructions.
Atmosphere from Bill Nye
Picture of Earth showing if all Earth's water (liquid, ice, freshwater, saline) was put into a sphere it would be about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers) in diameter. Diameter would be about the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, USA. Credit: Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; USGS.
Earth Systems Science (ESS)
The study of interactions between and among events and Earth's spheres.

A relatively "new" science (developed in 1988)

The Interconnected Spheres
Spheres are closely related
Changes are often "chain reactions"
A change in once sphere that results in a change in another is called an event.
---forest fire is an event

Interactions between spheres
Forest fire
No plants --> increase in erosion
Soil in water from erosion --> affects plants and animals in water
Earth System Science Analysis
A look at the way all of Earth spheres interact and affect one another. Specifically...
In which sphere did the event happen?
How do changes in one sphere impact the other spheres?

Check out this link for more in-depth information: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/ess/essmain.html
Practice... (name the sphere and how it affects other spheres)
forest fire (like in Yosemite)
oil spill
air pollution

**Which are caused by humans vs. natural?

Is it helpful to view Earth as a system? Why or why not?

global implications, ways the events affect the world.
predict outcomes.
prepare for disasters.
environmental impacts of human activities and change our actions if necessary.

Discuss with partner.
The material universe.
Ice Cores
Full transcript