The biosphere is the totality of all living organisms on the planet. They inhabit any corner of the Earth: from the depths of the oceans, the bowels of the planet to the airspace, so many scientists call this shell the sphere of life. It also houses the human race itself.
- The composition of the biosphere
- The value of the biosphere
- Human influence on the biosphere
- The material composition of the biosphere
- Layers of the biosphere
- The connection of the biosphere with other shells of the Earth
- The value of the biosphere in nature
- The role of Vernadsky in the study of the biosphere
The composition of the biosphere
The biosphere is considered the most global ecosystem of our planet. It consists of several areas. It includes the hydrosphere, that is, all water resources and reservoirs of the Earth. This is the World Ocean, underground and surface waters. Water is both the living space of many living beings and a necessary substance for life. It ensures the flow of many processes.
The biosphere contains an atmosphere. Various organisms exist in it, and it itself is saturated with various gases. Of particular value is oxygen, which is necessary for the life of all organisms. Also, the atmosphere plays a crucial role in the water cycle in nature, affects the weather and climate.
The lithosphere, namely the upper layer of the earth’s crust, is included in the biosphere. It is inhabited by living organisms. So, insects, rodents and other animals live in the thickness of the Earth, plants grow, and people live on the surface.
The world of flora and fauna is the most important inhabitants of the biosphere. They occupy a huge space not only on earth, but also shallow in the bowels, inhabit water bodies and are found in the atmosphere. Forms of plants are different: from mosses, lichens and grasses to shrubs and trees. As for animals, the smallest representatives are unicellular microbes and bacteria, and the largest are ground and sea creatures (elephants, bears, rhinos, whales). All of them are widely varied, and each species is important for our planet.
The value of the biosphere
The biosphere was studied by different scientists in all historical eras. This shell paid a lot of attention to.And. Vernadsky. He believed that the biosphere is determined by the boundaries in which the living substance lives. It is worth noting that all its components are interconnected, and changes in one area will lead to changes in all shells. The biosphere plays a crucial role in the distribution of the energy flows of the planet.
Thus, the biosphere is the living space of people, animals and plants. It contains the most important substances and natural resources, such as water, oxygen, earth and other. People have a significant impact on it. In the biosphere there is a cycle of elements to nature, boils life and the most important processes are carried out.
Human influence on the biosphere
Human influence on the biosphere is ambiguous. With each century, anthropogenic activity becomes more intense, destructive and large-scale, so people contribute to the emergence of not only local environmental problems, but also global ones.
One of the results of human influence on the biosphere is the reduction in the number of flora and fauna on the planet, as well as the disappearance of many species from the face of the earth. For example, plant ranges are shrinking due to farming and deforestation. Many trees, shrubs, grasses are secondary, that is, new species have been planted instead of the primary vegetation cover. In turn, animal populations are destroyed by hunters not only for the sake of obtaining food, but also for the purpose of selling valuable skins, bones, shark fins, elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns, various body parts on the black market.
Quite strongly anthropogenic activity influences the process of soil formation. So, deforestation and plowing of fields leads to wind and water erosion. A change in the composition of the vegetation cover leads to the fact that other species are involved in the process of soil formation, which means that a different type of soil is formed. Due to the use of various fertilizers in agriculture, the discharge of solid and liquid waste into the land, the physicochemical composition of the soil changes.
Demographic processes have a negative impact on the biosphere:
It is worth noting that people contribute to the pollution of all layers of the biosphere. Sources of pollution today there is a huge variety:
All this leads not only to a change in ecosystems and reduction of biodiversity on Earth, but also to climatic changes. Due to the influence of the human race on the biosphere, a greenhouse effect and the formation of ozone holes, melting of glaciers and global warming, a change in the level of oceans and seas, the loss of acid precipitation, etc.P.
Over time, the biosphere is becoming more unstable, which leads to the destruction of many ecosystems of the planet. Many scientists and public figures advocate to reduce the influence of the human community on nature, in order to preserve the Earth’s biosphere from destruction.
The material composition of the biosphere
The composition of the biosphere can be considered from various points of view. If we talk about the material composition, then it includes seven different parts:
Layers of the biosphere
It should be noted that all shells of the biosphere are in constant interaction, so sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the boundaries of a particular layer. One of the most important shells is the aerosphere. It reaches a level about 22 km above the ground, where there are still living beings. In general, this is the airspace where all living organisms live. This shell contains moisture, solar energy and atmospheric gases:
The number of atmospheric gases and their composition depends on the influence of living beings.
Geosphere is a component of the biosphere, it includes a set of living beings that inhabit the earth’s firmament. This area includes lithosphere, the world of flora and fauna, groundwater and the gas membrane of the Earth.
A significant layer of the biosphere is the hydrosphere, that is, all water bodies without groundwater. This shell includes a world ocean, surface water, atmospheric moisture and glaciers. The entire water area is inhabited by living creatures from microorganisms to algae, fish and animals.
If it is more detailed about the hard shell of the Earth, then it consists of soil, rocks and minerals. Depending on the location, there are various types of soil that differ in chemical and organic composition, depend on environmental factors (vegetation, water bodies, animal world, anthropogenic influence). The lithosphere consists of a huge number of minerals and rocks, which are represented in an unequal amount on Earth. At the moment, more than 6 thousand minerals have been discovered, but only 100-150 species are most common on the planet:
Depending on the amount of rocks and their economic use, some of them are valuable, especially fossil fuels, metal ores and precious stones.
As for the world of flora and fauna, this is a shell that includes, according to various sources, from 7 to 10 million species. Estimated to be around 2.2 million. species lives in the waters of the oceans, and about 6.5 million. on the land. Representatives of the animal world on the planet inhabited by approximately 7.8 million., and plants about 1 million. Of all the known species of living beings, no more than 15% have been described, so it will take hundreds of years for humanity to explore and describe all the existing species on the planet.
The connection of the biosphere with other shells of the Earth
All components of the biosphere are in close relationship with other shells of the Earth. This manifestation can be seen in the biological cycle, when animals and people emit carbon dioxide, it is absorbed by plants, which release oxygen during photosynthesis. Thus, these two gases are constantly regulated in the atmosphere due to the interrelationships of various spheres.
One example is the soil the result of the interaction of the biosphere with other shells. This process involves living beings (insects, rodents, reptiles, microorganisms), plants, water (groundwater, precipitation, reservoirs), air mass (wind), soil-forming rocks, solar energy, climate. All these components slowly interact with each other, which contributes to the formation of soil at an average rate of 2 millimeters per year.
When the components of the biosphere interact with living shells, rocks are formed. As a result of the influence of living beings on the lithosphere, deposits of coal, chalk, peat and limestone are formed. During the mutual influence of living creatures, hydrospheres, salts and minerals, a certain temperature form corals, and from them, in turn, coral reefs and islands appear. This also allows you to regulate the salt composition of the waters of the oceans.
Various types of relief are a direct result of the bond of the biosphere with other membranes of the Earth: atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. A water regime of terrain and precipitation, the nature of the air masses, solar radiation, the air temperature, which types of flora here grow, which animals inhabit this territory affects a particular form of relief.
The value of the biosphere in nature
The value of the biosphere as a global ecosystem of the planet is difficult to overestimate. Based on the functions of the shell of all living things, one can realize its significance:
For a long time, the role of the biosphere was underestimated, since, in comparison with other spheres, the mass of living matter on the planet is very small. Despite this, living beings are a powerful force of nature, without which many processes would be impossible, as well as life itself. In the course of the activity of living beings, their interconnections with each other, the influence on inanimate matter, the very world of nature and the appearance of the planet are formed.
The role of Vernadsky in the study of the biosphere
For the first time, the doctrine of the biosphere was developed by Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky. He wasolated this shell from other earthly spheres, actualized its significance and imagined that this was a very active area that changes and affects all ecosystems. The scientist became the founder of a new discipline biogeochemistry, on the basis of which the doctrine of the biosphere was justified.
Studying the living matter, Vernadsky made the conclusions that all forms of relief, climate, atmosphere, sedimentary rocks are the result of the activity of all living organisms. One of the key roles in this is given to people who have a huge impact on the flow of many earthly processes, being a certain element that owns a certain force capable of changing the face of the planet.
Vladimir Ivanovich presented the theory of all living things in the work of the Biosphere (1926), which contributed to the origin of the new scientific industry. The academician in his work presented the biosphere as an integral system, showed its components and their relationship, as well as the role of man. When living matter interacts with inert matter, a number of processes are influenced:
Vernadsky indicated that the boundaries of the biosphere are the field of existence of life. Its development is influenced by oxygen and air temperature, water and mineral elements, soil and solar energy. The scientist also singled out the main components of the biosphere discussed above, and singled out the main one living matter. He also formulated all the functions of the biosphere.
Among the main provisions of Vernadsky’s teaching on the living environment, the following theses can be distinguished:
Perhaps these are the key concepts about the living environment that Vernadsky laid down in his teaching, although his works are global and need further reflection, they are relevant to this day. They became the basis for research by other scientists.
Summing up, it is worth noting that life in the biosphere is located in different and uneven ways. A large number of living organisms live on the earth’s surface, whether it is aquatic environment or land. All creatures are in contact with water, minerals and atmosphere, being in continuous connection with them. This is what provides optimal conditions for life (oxygen, water, light, heat, nutrients). The deeper into the water column of the ocean or underground, the life is more monotonous. Living matter also spreads over the area, and it is worth noting the diversity of life forms throughout the earth’s surface. To understand this life, we will need more than a dozen years, or even hundreds, but we need to appreciate the biosphere and protect it from our harmful, human influence today.