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The areas of the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the lithosphere - Essay Example

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A thorough comprehension of water is necessary in order to handle its supply to the environment. Hydrologic cycle is the movement of water around the planet’s surface. There is water balance on earth’s surface, wherein, the…
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The areas of the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the lithosphere
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Life and Geography: A Look at Hydrosphere, Biosphere and Lithosphere College Life and Geography: A Look at Hydrosphere, Biosphere and Lithosphere
Water is universally essential to sustain life. A thorough comprehension of water is necessary in order to handle its supply to the environment. Hydrologic cycle is the movement of water around the planet’s surface. There is water balance on earth’s surface, wherein, the total amount of “precipitation (input) equals the total output of water” (Bharatdwaj, 2009). Bharatdwaj (2009) explained the hydrologic cycle through equating that the precipitation income is the sum of evapotranspiration, soil storages gain and loss, and surplus. According to him, there is loss of water in “evaporation, transpiration and seepage” into the ground. Energy gains, on the other hand, are highly influenced by human activities such as building of irrigation and dams. Water, in the form of snow and rain, falls on earth to be absorbed by bodies of water and plant fields (Bharatdwaj, 2009). Gabler, Petersen & Sack (2011) explained that when water reaches the subsurface, it goes first to the zone of aeration where air occupies most space. Water then consumes the space in the zone of saturation which is topped by water table (Gabler et al., 2011). Groundwater wells are designed to alter nature’s way of keeping water beneath the surface (Bharatdwaj, 2009). Cones of depression in the water table evolved from constant extraction of water from wells. When several cones of depression meet, other nearby shallow wells runs out of water (Gabler et al., 2011).
Another indispensable process that sustains life is the food web. It is a series of food chains interlinked with one another. The food chains’ prequel is the primary producers supplying the essential energy for food (Bharatdwaj, 2009). Food chain is facilitated by primary consumers that feed on plants, the secondary consumers that feed on the primary consumers and then there are the decomposers that feed on what is left in each process of the cycle (Bharatdwaj, 2009). A clear cut example of a food chain is when grass was feed on by a cow; consequently the cow is eaten by man. In the study of these organisms, a biologist focuses on the processes that propels life itself, whereas, the focus of a geographer is to identify ways to preserve and maintain the Earth’s surface and resources. The diversified community of plants and animals that cover a specific area and own a particular climate are termed as biomes (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). Biomes are like zoogeographic regions which aim to classify the distribution of Earth. But unlike biomes, zoogeographic regions focus on the animal kingdom. Two of the major biomes which are considered scarce in visible flora and fauna are tundra and desert. Tundra is plant-animal-climate zone that are limited in vegetation. It is in Tundra that plants grow superficially on top soil while beneath it, is totally frozen (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). It is in extreme contradiction in case of desert, where the climate is superbly hot, permitting only plants and animals which are less dependent on water to thrive (Gabler et al., 2011). Soil that grew on forested, sloped area contains less humus while those that developed in grassed flat area are readily nourished enough for planting (Bharatdwaj, 2009). Kaufman & Marsh (2012) mentioned “nutrient supply, nutrient type, soil erosion and translocation of nutrients” as critical determinants of soil formation. In 2011, Gabler et al., cited variety in land structures and existence of diversity on Earth’s surface as representations of clashes between internal and external processes. Furthermore, because Earth is primarily composed of oceans and seas, water is a crucial factor in changing the planet’s surface overtime (Gabler et al., 2011).
Two of the most prominent theories about the beginning of the world are plate tectonics theory and its predecessor, continental drift theory. Wegener, the father of continental drift theory, hypothesized that the world is one enormous continent until it “drifted” from itself, resulting in the so-called continents (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). Unlike its predecessor, the tectonic plate theory provided critics clarity regarding formation of volcanoes and earthquakes (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). According to Kaufman & Marsh (2012) the tectonic plate theory states the existence of “plate-like sheets” and it is the constructive and destructive movements of these tectonic plates that create volcanoes and generate earthquakes. Weather in different parts of the world changes as tectonic plates affects the hydrologic cycle (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). Being in the modern world, scientists argue the geographical classification that the planet is currently in. The claim that Earth is still in its ice age glory can be considered with the fact that there is still existence of ice all over the pole (Kaufman & Marsh, 2012). However, considering that there is only ten percent of the world’s surface covered by glaciers (Gabler et al., 2011), another group of experts also inference that the period of global ice age has already ended. Additional studies and more intensified investigations are truly needed to further both claims. And as opposing views continue to contradict one another, the study of the distribution of land masses and animal species continue to exert impact on the modern world we live in today.
References
Bharatdwaj, K. (2009). Introduction to Physical Geography. New Delhi, India: Discovery.
Gabler, R., Petersen, J. & Sack, D. (2011). Fundamentals of Physical Geography. Belmont, CA: Cengage.
Kaufman, M. & Marsh, W. (2012). Physical Geography: Great Systems and Global Environments. New York, NY: Cambridge. Read More
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