• Ashwini

What is Earth System Sciences?

Updated: May 4, 2020

Every human is born ignorant but without the knowledge of Earth’s history there cannot be any sense of a planet or of geologic time.

Ram S. Sharma

Alumni, Batch 60’

Banaras Hindu University.

The Earth is the only living member of our solar system. By living, I mean, this is the only planet in our solar system or maybe in the universe to support the cycle of biological processes and, in parallel, humans. Earth system sciences is the interdisciplinary branch which accomplishes the obscure by utilizing the knowledge from other branches of sciences such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and many others. It behaves as a system (part of the universe where observations are made) in which different parts of our planet such as land, ocean, air and living beings interact through physical, biological and chemical processes.

A system is defined as a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent parts that work together to form a complex whole.

The Earth system has five domains viz. Geosphere (the study of land, from the crust to centre of Earth), Hydrosphere (the study of different water bodies present on the planet), Atmosphere (the blanket of air around the planet), Cryosphere (the study of glaciers or part of the land having a permanent ice cover) and Biosphere (the life and the environment). The study incorporates a series of interactions and feedbacks between its cycles, processes and ‘spheres’. Scholars from natural sciences and from fields of ecology, economics, geology, geography, meteorology, climatology, oceanography, sociology and space science come and ponder together on the ongoing cycles and produce a current picture of our planet. The Earth system sciences studies the holistic view of the dynamism of the Earth beginning from its origin, evolution to today. Also, the study endeavours in predicting the future of the Earth with utmost accuracy and preciseness.

Pic Credit- NASA

The Earth system sciences helps in understanding the world and its resources and, even, discusses their sustainable use. So, in case if you are thinking how this system science is essential for you then I have something which will change your mind:

  1. What you eat and wear, is the function having geology as an independent variable.

  2. The quality of life that you spend can be improved by the study of Earth Sciences.

  3. Global environmental problems which we are dealing with can only be unlocked by the study of Earth system science.

  4. How much water is present beneath your feet is the part of our study.

  5. How efficiently you can use your land is made in better ways.

  6. Where should the waste- radioactive or domestic be disposed, of is the part of our study.

  7. Weather and climate of a place is studied under the Earth system science.

Given the concern how humans are affecting the Earth system by over-exploitation of its resources, there is an increasing demand for this branch in our present. As soon as there are changes in one system, it backfires into others and, thus, deteriorates the feedback of the other system. This leads to problematic changes in the whole system leading to the instability. Our study helps us in identifying the changes and providing the best solution to the problem.

So, if you still think whether TheGaiaSapiens presents the deal you were looking for in the Earth system science then, my friend, you are at the right place. Wait for our upcoming articles. And you will see how we can help each other.

Till then, don't forget to check the video which explains the five domains of the Earth System.

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  • Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.25 days. 0.25 days add to form 1 day after 4 years resulting in the leap year.

  • Earth completes its rotation about its axis in 23.9 days, defining days and nights.

  • Earth's axis of rotation is 23.5 degrees inclined from the normal to the elliptical equatorial plane of planets, giving rise to the seasons on the planet.

  • On two days of the year- Equinoxes, both the hemisphere is equally illuminated by the Sun.

  • Whichever hemisphere is close to the Sun experiences summer, while the one away from the Sun experiences winter.

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