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Definition

Biosphere: is the life zone of the Earth. In order to study the Earth and how its many elements work together, scientists have named various sections or spheres.  All living organisms, including humans, and all organic matter that has not yet decomposed occupy the Biosphere. Other sections include: Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Anthrosphere.

Hawaiian Translation: Ke Ao O Na Mea Ola


Example

treefrog biosphere tree line

These are all included in the biosphere.

environmental spheres

Five environmental spheres:

  • The Hydrosphere - The hydrosphere includes all the earth's water including streams, lakes, the soil, groundwater, and the air.
  • The Atmosphere - The thin layer of gases that surround and provide a protective function for the Earth.
  • The Geosphere -The geosphere includes the Earth's interior, rocks and minerals, landforms and the processes that shape the Earth's surface.
  • The Biosphere - The biosphere extends to any place that life (of any kind) can exist on Earth.
  • The Anthrosphere - The anthrosphere is that part of Earth made by, modified by, or operated by humans.

From: Environmental Science and Technology: A Sustainable Approach to Green Science and Technology, Stanley E. Manahan, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, London and Boca Raton, FL, 2007.


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