The Spheres

Sunset in New Zealand. The bright colors were caused by a volcanic
eruption in Chile. Photo courtesy of PhillipC/Flickr. Licensed CC BY.

Earth has four spheres: the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere. The interaction between mountains, moisture and wind demonstrate how Earth's different "spheres" affect one another. The different spheres are described below:

  • Atmosphere: part of the Earth above the geosphere, extending upward into space. This includes the air you breathe.
  • Biosphere: parts of the Earth where living organisms exist; the sum of all ecosystems.
  • Geosphere: parts of the Earth where rocks and soil are present.
  • Hydrosphere: parts of the Earth where water is present.

As you might guess, there is a lot of overlap between the spheres. In fact, thousands of interactions can take place between just two of Earth's spheres! For this week we will look at how the geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere interact with, and affect, one another.
Last modified: Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 9:57 AM