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EESA06 Lecture 1 Notes.docx

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Environmental Science
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Lisa Tutty

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Jan 7, 2013 EESA06 Lecture 1 Notes  Scientists tend to look at Earth as a series of systems  4 major systems o atmosphere: envelope of gases that surround our planet o biosphere: all living or dead organic matter; not the same as the ecosphere o lithosphere: the solid parts of the Earth o hydrosphere and cryosphere: hydrosphere is all water, frozen or not frozen, and cryosphere is all the frozen water  The upper part is what interacts with everything else  78% of atmosphere is nitrogen and 21% of atmosphere is oxygen  Biosphere is not only the living components  The biosphere contains things such as vegetation in the oceans, not just what is on land  Green to red chlorophyll areas are active biologically and are lush  The ecosphere is where the biosphere is interacting with the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere  Humans have only been a part of Earths history in a blink of an eye in geologic time  Conflict between the things that make for a modern human society and the environment; our activities have an impact on planet earth  External energy is energy outside from the Earth; energy from the sun  Water or air heated at the equator by the sun causes a flow towards the poles  Flows from water or air can cause effects in other spheres (ie. erosion of lithosphere)  Internal energy comes from inside the earth-> when Earth was formed, a lot of heat was built up inside the planet; there are radioactive minerals decaying which releases heat  Volcano releases gases also, which effects both the lithosphere and atmosphere  Involves all 4 spheres-> sand is picked up by wind and nutrients from dust fertilize the ocean and provide food for organisms  Earths crust is very thin compared to the rest of the Earth  Continental crust is the kind that is on continents or land, and oceanic crust is what underlies the oceans  Beneath crust is the mantle, followed by the core  Can also divide up
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