Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Introduction

Hit Counter

Learning Objectives

After reading, studying, and discussing the Introduction, you should be able to:

  1. Describe Earth's four "spheres."
  2. List the sciences traditionally included in Earth Science.
  3. Discuss some resource and environmental issues.
  4. Describe the nature of scientific inquiry

Introduction Outline

  1. Earth’s four " spheres "

             A.   Hydrosphere

                    1.    Ocean – the most prominent feature of the hydrosphere

                           a.   Nearly 71 % of Earth’s surface

                            b.   About 97 % of Earth’s water

                    2.   Also includes fresh water

               B.   Atmosphere

               C.   Biosphere

                     1.    Includes all life

                     2.    Influences other three spheres

                D.   Lithosphere

                      1.   Earth’s rigid outer layer

                      2.   Solid Earth consists of

                            a.    Core

                            b.    Mantle

                            c.    Crust

                        3.   Lithosphere includes

                             a.    Crust

                             b.    Part of upper mantle

                         4.    Divisions of Earth’s surface

                              a.    Continents

                              b.   Ocean Basins

II.  Earth science

                A.   Encompasses all sciences that seek to understand

                       1.    Earth

                       2.    Earth’s neighbors in space

                B.   Includes

                       1.     Geology

                               a.   Physical geology examines the materials composing Earth

                               b.   Historical geology is the study of the origin and development of Earth

                  C.   Oceanography

                               a.   Not a separate and distinct science

                               b.   Oceanography integrates

    1. Chemistry
    2. Physics
    3. Geology
    4. Biology

                         3.   Meteorology

                         4.   Astronomy

III.  Resources and environmental issues

    1. Environment

                           1.   Surrounds and influences organisms

                           2.   Influences on organisms

    1. Biological
    2. Social
    3. Nonliving ( physical environment )
    1. Water
    2. Air
    3. Soil
    4. Rock

                      B.   Resources

                             1.   Important environmental concerns

                             2.   Include

    1. Water
    2. Soil
    3. Minerals
    4. Energy

                             3.   Two broad categories

                                               a.   Renewable

                                                    1.   Can be replenished

                                                    2.   Examples

                                                         a.   Plants

                                                          b.   Wind energy

                                                b.   Nonrenewable

                                                      1.   Fixed quantities

                                                      2.   Examples

    1. Metals
    2. Fuels

              C.   Environmental problems

    1. Local, regional, and global
    2. Human – induced and accentuated
    1. Urban air pollution
    2. Acid rain
    3. Ozone depletion
    4. Global warming

                    3.   Natural hazards

    1. Earthquakes
    2. Landslides
    3. Floods
    4. Hurricannes

                    4.   World population pressures

IV.  Scientific inquiry

    1. Science assumes the natural world is
    1. Consistent
    2. Predictable

                    B.   Goal of science

    1. To discover patterns in nature, and
    2. To use the knowledge to predict

                    C.   An idea can become a

    1. Hypothesis ( untested )
    2. Theory ( tested and confirmed )
    3. Law ( no known deviation )

                    D.   Scientific method

    1. Gather facts through observation
    2. Formulate
    1. Hypotheses
    2. Theories
    3. Laws

                    E.   Scientific knowledge is gained through

    1. Following systematic steps
    1. Collecting facts
    2. Developing a hypothesis
    3. Conduct experiments
    4. Reexamine the hypothesis
    1. Accept
    2. Modify
    3. Reject

                     2.   Theories that withstand examination

                     3.   Totally unexpected occurrences

 

Back to:  Earth Science

Back To:  The Wizard's Homepage