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Atmosphere Biosphere Hydrosphere Lithosphere

The region around and near the earth's surface can be divided into four interconnected geo-spheres. They are the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. The life and material on or near the surface of the earth can be divided into four spheres. The names of these geo-spheres are derived from the Greek words. Litho means stone or rocky; atmo means air; hydro means water and bio means life.

Lithosphere is the rocky, solid crust that covers the entire planet’s surface. This crust of the planet is inorganic and it consists of minerals. It covers the entire earth's surface and forms the basis of the mechanical properties of the earth.

There are two types of lithosphere:

Oceanic lithosphere - The oceanic lithosphere is associated with oceanic crust and it exists in the ocean basin.

Continental lithosphere - The continental lithosphere is associated with the continental crust.

The hydrosphere consists of all the water on or near the earth's surface. The hydrosphere includes the oceans, rivers, lakes, streams and also the moisture of the air. Most of the earth's surface is covered in water. About 97% of the earth's water is of the oceans. The remaining 3% is fresh water and $\frac{3}{4}$ of the fresh water is solid and exists in the form of ice sheets.

The biosphere comprises of the living system of the earth. It is composed of all the living organisms including plants, animals and single celled organisms. Life of the planet is found almost from three meters below the ground and about 30 meters above the surface and almost about 200 meters above the oceans and seas.  The biosphere is also known as the global sum of all the ecosystems. The biosphere integrates all the relationships, interactions of the living beings with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

Atmosphere comprises the air body that surrounds the earth. Atmosphere is located close to the surface of the earth and is dense at the surface. Atmosphere comprises of 79% of nitrogen gas and just 21% of oxygen and the remaining is carbon dioxide and other gases. The earth's atmosphere contains oxygen which is used by most of the organisms for respiration. The atmosphere also protects the living organisms from ultraviolet radiations emitted from the sun.

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From Wikipedia


Our biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed (apart from solar and cosmic radiation) and self-regulating system. From the broadest biophysiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The biosphere is postulated to have evolved, beginning through a process of biogenesis or biopoesis, at least some 3.5 billion years ago. In a broader sense; biospheres are any closed, self-regulating systems containing ecosystems; including artificial ones such as Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3; and, potentially, ones on other planets or moons. Origin and use of the term The term "biosphere" was coined by geologist Eduard Suess in 1875, which he defined as: "The place on Earth's surface where life dwells." While this concept has a geological origin, it is an indication of the impact of both Darwin and Maury on the earth sciences. The biosphere's ecological context comes from the 1920s (see Vladimir I. Vernadsky), preceding the 1935 introduction of the term "ecosystem" by Sir Arthur Tansley (see ecology history). Vernadsky defined ecology as the science of the biosphere. It is an interdisciplinary concept for integrating astronomy, geophysics, meteorology, biogeography, evolution, geology, geochemistry, hydrology and, generally speaking, all life and earth sciences. Gaia hypothesis The concept that the biosphere is itself a living organism, either actually or metaphorically, is known as the Gaia hypothesis. James Lovelock, an atmospheric scientist from the United Kingdom, proposed the Gaia hypothesis to explain how biotic and abiotic factors interact in the biosphere. This hypothesis considers Earth itself a kind of living organism. Its atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere are cooperating systems that yield a biosphere full of life. In the early 1970s, Lynn Margulis, a microbiologist from the United States, added to the hypothesis, specifically noting the ties between the biosphere and other Earth systems. For example, when carbon dioxide levels increase in the atmosphere, plants grow more quickly. As their growth continues, they remove more and more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Many scientists are now involved in new fields of study that examine interactions between biotic and abiotic factors in the biosphere, such as geobiology and geomicrobiology. Ecosystems occur when communities and their physical environment work together as a system. The difference between this and a biosphere is simple, the biosphere is everything in general terms. Extent of Earth's biosphere Every part of the planet, from the polar ice caps to the Equator, supports life of some kind. Recent advances in microbiology have demonstrated that microbes live deep beneath the Earth's terrestrial surface, and that the total mass of microbial life in so-called "uninhabitable zones" may, in biomass, exceed all animal and plant life on the surface. The actual thickness of the biosphere on earth is difficult to measure. Birds typically fly at altitudes of 650 to 1,800 meters, and fish that live deep underwater can be found down to -8,372 meters in the Puerto Rico Trench. There are more extreme examples for life on the planet: Rüppell's Vulture has been found at altitudes of 11,300 meters; Bar-headed Geese migrate at altitudes of at least 8,300 meters (over Mount Everest); Yaks live at elevations between 3,200 to 5,400 meters above sea level; mountain goats live up to 3,050 meters. Herbivorous animals at these elevations depend on lichens, grasses, and herbs. Microscopic organisms live at such extremes that, taking them into consideration puts the thickness of the biosphere much greater. Culturable microbes have been found in the Earth's upper atmosphere as high as 41|km|0|abbr=on (Wainwright et al., 2003, in FEMS Microbiology Letters). It is unlikely, however, that microbes are active at such altitudes, where temperatures and air pressure are extremely low and ultraviolet radiation very high. More likely these microbes were brought into the upper atmosphere by winds or possibly volcanic eruptions. Barophilic marine microbes have been found at more than 10|km|0|abbr=on depth in the Marianas Trench (Takamia et al., 1997, in FEMS Microbiology Letters). Microbes are not limited to the air, water or the Earth's surface. Culturable thermophilic microbes have been extracted from cores drilled more than 5|km|0|abbr=on into the Earth's crust in Sweden (Gold, 1992, and Szewzyk, 1994, both in PNAS), from rocks between 65-75 °C. Temperature increases with increasing depth into the Earth's crust. The speed at which the temperature increases depends on many factors, including type of crust (continental vs. oceanic), rock type, geographic location, etc. The upper known limit of microbial is 122 °C (Methanopyrus kandleri Strain 116), and it is likely that the limit of life in the "deep biosphere" is defined by temperature rather than absolute depth. Our biosphere is divided into a number of biomes, inhabited by broadly similar flora and fauna. On land, biomes are separated primarily by latitude. Terrestrial biomes lying within the Arctic and Antarctic Circles are relatively barren of plant and animal life, while most of the more populous biomes lie near the equator. Terrestrial organisms in temperate and Arctic biomes have relatively small amounts of total biomass, smaller energy budgets, and display prominent adaptations to cold, including world-spanning migrations, social adaptations, homeothermy, estivation and multiple layers of insulation. Specific biospheres When the word is followed by a number, it is usually referring to a specific system or number. Thus: Biosphere 1, the planet Earth Biosphere 2, a laboratory in Arizona which contains 3.15 acres (13,000 m²) of closed ecosystem. BIOS-3, a closed ecosystem at the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, in what was then the Soviet Union. Biosphere J (CEEF, Closed Ecology Experiment Facilities), a experiment in Japan.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:I know how they work and what they do i'm just not sure how they work together. Does any one know where i can get information or learn more about how they work together?

Answers:yes, the dead animals are descomposed, and the nutrients now form part of the lithosphere. The animal breathing changes the atmosphere. The animal blood or waste can change the hydrosphere A change in the biosphere, litosphere, atmosphere or hydrosphere can make another change in biosphere A change in atmosphere (more tempereture) can evaporate the water, kill the animals and plants and changes in temperature (heat and cold) can break stones (lithosphere) Sorry because I'm Spanish and I can't speak English very well

Question:I need like 40 examples of things they share, I'm making a graph/web thing. What relationships do they have with one another?

Answers:You will need to do some reading for this - I suggest you start with the definitions and then go on to some of the many sites dealing with this. You can think about how the climate (atmosphere) affects weathering and erosion of rocks (Lithosphere) - volcanoes affect the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere in different ways. The lithosphere - geology - influences the biosphere because it dictates the types and fertility of the soils. Similarly the weather influences what can grow and consequently the whole biome. Birds fly through the atmosphere, fish swim in the sea, people dig in the ground to grow crops - all these are interactions. Just a few examples. Do a search on lithosphere + atmosphere +hydrosphere + biosphere + interactions.

Question:I have to do a powerpoint for school and I need answers quick. How does Mt. Fuji affect the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere? It's really hard for me to research this because Mt. Fuji hasn't erupted since 1707. If you have any answers please tell me.

Answers:Incidentally, that is a very pathetic attempt at an excuse to get me to do your homework. There are thousands of volcanoes that haven't erupted in a long time, and you can learn all about them. Lithosphere --> Fuji receives magma through the lithosphere. The weight of the mountain presses down on the lithosphere as it searches to reach isostatic equilibrium ("upward force equals downward force") Biosphere --> Lava flows can directly impact habitats, geothermal fluids can make surface waters more acidic, gases (if concentrated enough) can affect plant growth. Hydrosphere --> During eruptions, can release water vapor (as steam) into the atmosphere, which will enter the hydrologic cycle as rain. As mentioned, fluids can chance acidity. Landslides can increase sediment load and water quality of rivers and lakes. Snowcap melts and provides water source for rivers, lakes, and may end up in the ocean. Atmosphere --> Water vapor (as steam) can enter the atmosphere and remain there for a long time, affecting humidity. During eruptions, significant amounts of dangerous and toxic gases such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide can enter the atmosphere. During major eruptions, fine particulate matter can be thrown into the atmosphere, blocking light (and infrared light, thus heat). In 1816, following the eruption of Tambora, the entire Northern Hemisphere experienced the "Year Without A Summer," where crops failed, starvation took hold, disease came into being, and any people died.

Question:I have a spaceship earth assignment to do for geography. If Earth was a spaceship, what would the hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere be? I've already done government = navigators on the spaceship and first world countries = first class, etc. 5 STARS FOR BEST ANSWER. Pleeez help.

Answers:Lithosphere The lithosphere is the solid, rocky crust covering entire planet. This crust is inorganic and is composed of minerals. It covers the entire surface of the earth from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Hydrosphere The hydrosphere is composed of all of the water on or near the earth. This includes the oceans, rivers, lakes, and even the moisture in the air. Ninety-seven percent of the earth's water is in the oceans. The remaining three percent is fresh water; three-quarters of the fresh water is solid and exists in ice sheets Biosphere The biosphere is composed of all living organisms. Plants, animals, and one-celled organisms are all part of the biosphere. Most of the planet's life is found from three meters below the ground to thirty meters above it and in the top 200 meters of the oceans and seas. http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/fourspheres.htm

From Youtube

Earth Spheres :Earth Sphere - The study of the Earth spheres. (Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Lithosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere and Anthrosphere) - View PowerPoint SlideShow in www.slideserve.com Powered by www.DigitalOfficePro.com