Planet Earth is made up of four overlapping subsystems, which contain all the landmasses, the water sources, the living organisms, and the gases of the planet. These four subsystems are known as spheres.

Geographers understand that the Earth’s systems are broken down into four spheres that make up the world’s air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), land (geosphere), and living organisms (biosphere).

Note: There are four spheres recognized by scientists, but if we get into details, there are as many as 17 spheres of the earth system.

Let’s start:

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1. Atmosphere

It takes many factors to create a healthy environment, but one of the most important is air quality. The atmosphere of the Earth is the gaseous layer that envelopes the planet. The atmosphere, also called the air, is the invisible substance surrounding us which gives us a sense of space and a feeling of being at one with nature.

The Earth’s atmosphere is held around the planet by the force of gravity.


2. Hydrosphere

All of the water on Earth is known collectively as the earth’s hydrosphere. Water is the stuff of life. It’s found in the air, the soil, in glaciers, the oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams of the world.

Water is found in all three states, which are gas, liquid, and solid. It is found in the atmosphere as a gas, water vapour. Water is a compound that occurs naturally in liquid form as water.

Water, which is made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded together with one oxygen atom, is an excellent solvent for many substances, most notably for fats and oils. These substances dissolve readily in water, and the result is what we call a solution.


3. The Geosphere

When ‘geology’ means ‘earth sciences,’ then the geosphere includes the earth, the rock, minerals, and the ground that covers it. All of the continents, the ocean floor, all of the rocks on the surface, and all of the sand in the deserts are considered part of the geosphere. You can tell whether something is solid ground or not by looking at the ground around it. If it looks like solid ground, it’s part of the GeoSphere. 


4. Biosphere

All living organisms on Earth are in the biosphere.

The earth is estimated to have about 20 million to 100 million different species organized into the five kingdoms of life, which make up the planet’s one hundred phyla.

They’re found in all parts of the earth, and you can find them in a lot of different places. There are many different organisms in the air, soil, and water on Earth. 

They are important to the health of the planet because they are essential to its functioning. Some organisms are beneficial, such as the algae that produce oxygen and provide food for other organisms, while others can be harmful like the bacteria that cause disease. There are many different organisms in the sea, including plants, animals, bacteria, and protists. The oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface and there are a lot of organisms in the ocean.

These were the four important spheres that make up the earth.


5. Troposphere

The bottom layer is the layer closest to the earth. It’s also the most dense of the five layers. This layer of the atmosphere is known as the troposphere.

Humans live in the troposphere. It’s a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere where humans live and breathe.

The troposphere starts at the Earth’s surface and extends to a height of about ten kilometers.

In the troposphere, the air is about 12,500 feet above sea level and has a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the layer of air where clouds form because almost all the water in the atmosphere is found there.

Layer number 1 is a mixture of mostly nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and argon (0.9%). Trace gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, and ozone) account for another tenth of a percent.


6. Mesosphere

You may never have heard of the mesosphere before, but it’s one of the highest regions of the atmosphere and above the stratosphere. This layer in the Earth’s atmosphere is the highest layer in which the gases are still mixed up rather than layered (not to be confused with the exosphere which is the highest layer in Earth’s atmosphere).

The mesosphere is the layer where meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere and break up.

Mesosphere is a layer of Earth’s atmosphere that is just above the stratosphere. It contains more than enough gases to cause friction to slow down the meteors. We can see those during the day as shooting stars.


7. Thermosphere

Above the mesosphere is the thermosphere

This layer is characterized by temperatures that are several hundred degrees Celsius above the surface of the planet.  It is composed of a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon gases.  The temperature of the atmosphere increases with altitude until it reaches the exosphere.  The exosphere is the top boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s very rare to find anything at this altitude that has a breathable atmosphere.

Many satellites orbit the earth, and some of them are in this layer. The International Space Station is in this layer.


8. Exosphere

The uppermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere is the exosphere. The part of the atmosphere that’s outside the earth is called the exosphere. It’s so far away and has such thin air that scientists don’t even recognize it as a layer of the atmosphere. If the atmosphere were as thin as in the thermosphere, you’d have a whole fleet of satellites and space junk orbiting it freely. The outermost layer of the atmosphere called the exosphere extends to about halfway to the distance of the moon. There is no outside boundary because it gradually decreases in density until it becomes completely transparent and invisible.

If you’re going to create an atmosphere in a space rocket, you want to make it thin. With a lot of gases in the exosphere, it’s hard to control the air pressure.


9. Ionosphere

The ionosphere is an active part of the earth’s atmosphere that overlaps the mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.

As its name indicates, the ionosphere is the part of the Earth’s atmosphere that is electrically charged because it is ionized by solar radiation. It can be found at altitudes between 48 km and 965 km.

The aurora, an unusual light show produced by the interaction of energetic particles from the sun with molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, occurs in the ionosphere.

The five main layers of the Earth’s atmosphere are: 1.The Troposphere: This is the layer of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth.

Outer space: 700 to 10,000 kilometers (440 to 6,200 miles)

Geosphere: 700 to 3,800km (440 to 2,300 miles)

Mesosphere: 51 to 81 kilometers (32 to 50 miles)

Stratosphere: 12 to 51km (7 to 32 miles)

Troposphere: 6km to 10km (3.7 to 6 miles)


10. Lithosphere

Earth’s entire outer layer of rocks, called the lithosphere, is made up of rigid, impermeable material. The lithosphere is the outer shell of the Earth. It is composed of rocks that are very hard and brittle, and it is very old. There are many different kinds of rocks that can be found on Earth. The oldest rocks are billions of years old. All types of rocks are formed by the rock cycle. There are igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks.


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