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Earth Science Systems

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The Earth System

This video describes the four main components of the Earth system (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere), how matter is exchanged between the components, and how a change in some aspect of one part of the system will result in changes in other system components. We describe the Earth system in terms of reservoirs and flux between them and discuss how the movement of carbon occurs between system components.

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Earth Systems in 2 Minutes

The earth is a system of complex interactions.

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Earth Systems Science

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A brief overview to the area of Earth Systems Science where we will be looking at the different spheres that make up Earth as a complex adaptive system.

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Earth systems science is the interdisciplinary study of earth as a complex system, composed of multiple physical and biological process that interact within cycles or spheres to give rise to the overall state of the earth as an entire systems.

Of cause people have been studying earth for a long time, geologies study the formation of rocks, metrologies are interested in the atmosphere and so on,
With all of these different domains supported by the deep understanding of our physical environment that physics has built up over the past few centuries.

But it is only more recently that satellites have started to allow us to see earth as an entirety and human activity has begun to have a significant enough effect to alter earth systems making it increasingly important for us to be able to model and manage them.

From space we can view the net results of earths complex interactions and with high-tech sensors on land and in the ocean, we are getting an clear idea of its overall make up, from this researchers in different domains are discovering how their pieces of the puzzle are related to each other.

Earth systems science then tries to develop models that gives an integrated picture of how all these parts fit together, the first of these models is of earth as a systems in space with inputs and outputs of energy or radiation from the sun, with this energy being the primary factor in driving the dynamics process within the system.


As opposed to focusing on the static properties of earths individual components
Earth systems science instead takes a more dynamic view of the world, studying the ways energy and materials cycle through the different subsystems or what are called -spheres

Earths different sphere are largely defined by the different phases of mater they are composed of thus the atmosphere is composed of gasses, the hydrosphere of liquid water and the lithosphere solid minerals added to this is the biosphere
The sum of all biological material and processes.

Within each sphere a process called a cycles take place, for example in the lithosphere we have the rock cycle driven by the thermal energy within earth's interior that releases minerals through ocean ridges and volcanoes that are weathered as they cycle through earths crust and are eventual subducted returning to their origin



The hydro cycle driven by the thermal energy of the sun, cycles water between the earths surface and atmosphere through the process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation, this process helps to distribute moisture to support ecosystems at a variety of locations

The atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet that is held in place by gravity, it is the primary vehicle of temperature and climate regulation through the Cycle of carbon in and out of the atmosphere where it functions, through the green house effect to trap the suns heart.

The biosphere is the relatively thin layer of Earth's surface that supports all biological activity on earth. The biosphere is a system also characterized by the continuous cycling of matter and energy in the form of the flow of solar energy and nutrient mineral cycles.

Solar energy flows through the biosphere along a unidirectional path, as the suns energy is inputted through plant photosynthesis and process up through what are called trophic levels form primary producers to herbivores and on to predators and apex predators.

Along side the flow of energy through food webs it the cycling of mineral nutrients the core substances required for the construction of biological materials and processes, carbon, water, oxygen, nitrogen have been continuously cycled through the biosphere from one generation to the next for billions of years

These different spheres interact to create a unique state or ecosystem, an ecosystems is the combination of a community of biological organism and a particular physical environment with which they interact...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 1. Introduction and the Scientific Method

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013)
Lec 01. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Introduction and the Scientific Method --
View the complete course:

Instructor: Julie Ferguson, Ph.D.

License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA
Terms of Use:
More courses at

Description: Earth System Science covers the following topics: the origin and evolution of the Earth, atmosphere, oceans, perspective of biogeochemical cycles, energy use, and human impacts on the Earth system.

Recorded on September 27, 2013

Required attribution: Ferguson, Julie. Introduction to Earth System Science 1 (UCI OpenCourseWare: University of California, Irvine), [Access date]. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 United States License. (
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Four Spheres Part 2 (Hydro and Atmo): Crash Course Kids #6.2

The second part of our two part tale of the puzzle that is Earth. In this episode, Sabrina talks about the Hydrosphere and the Atmosphere and what is contained in each one. Let's dive in!!!

This first series is based on 5th grade science. We're super excited and hope you enjoy Crash Course Kids!

///Standards Used in This Video///
5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. [Clarification Statement: Examples could include the influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; the influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; and the influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere. The geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere are each a system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to the interactions of two systems at a time.]

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Credits...

Executive Producers: John & Hank Green
Producer & Editor: Nicholas Jenkins
Cinematographer & Director: Michael Aranda
Host: Sabrina Cruz
Script Supervisor: Mickie Halpern
Writer: Ben Kessler
Consultant: Shelby Alinsky
Script Editor: Blake de Pastino

Thought Cafe Team:
Stephanie Bailis
Cody Brown
Suzanna Brusikiewicz
Jonathan Corbiere
Nick Counter
Kelsey Heinrichs
Jack Kenedy
Corey MacDonald
Tyler Sammy
Nikkie Stinchcombe
James Tuer
Adam Winnik

The Earth,Moon and Sun System

A video about the relative positions of the Earth Moon and Sun
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What is EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE? What does EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE mean? EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE meaning

What is EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE? What does EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE mean? EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE meaning - EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE definition - EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE explanation.

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under license.

Earth system science (ESS) is the application of systems science to the Earth sciences. In particular, it considers interactions between the Earth's spheres—atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, and, even, the magnetosphere—as well as the impact of human societies on these components. At its broadest scale, Earth system science brings together researchers across both the natural and social sciences, from fields including ecology, economics, geology, glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, sociology, and space science. Like the broader subject of systems science, Earth system science assumes a holistic view of the dynamic interaction between the Earth's spheres and their many constituent subsystems, the resulting organization and time evolution of these systems, and their stability or instability. Subsets of Earth system science include systems geology and systems ecology, and many aspects of Earth system science are fundamental to the subjects of physical geography and climate science.

The Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, offers the following description: Earth system science embraces chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and applied sciences in transcending disciplinary boundaries to treat the Earth as an integrated system. It seeks a deeper understanding of the physical, chemical, biological and human interactions that determine the past, current and future states of the Earth. Earth system science provides a physical basis for understanding the world in which we live and upon which humankind seeks to achieve sustainability.

For millennia, humans have speculated how the physical and living elements on the surface of the Earth combine, with gods and goddesses frequently posited to embody specific elements. The notion that the Earth, itself, is alive was a regular theme of Greek philosophy and religion. Early scientific interpretations of the Earth system began in the field of geology, initially in the Middle East and China, and largely focused on aspects such as the age of the Earth and the large-scale processes involved in mountain and ocean formation. As geology developed as a science, understanding of the interplay of different facets of the Earth system increased, leading to the inclusion of factors such as the Earth's interior, planetary geology and living systems.

In many respects, the foundational concepts of Earth system science can be seen in the holistic interpretations of nature promoted by the 19th century geographer Alexander von Humboldt. In the 20th century, Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) saw the functioning of the biosphere as a geological force generating a dynamic disequilibrium, which in turn promoted the diversity of life. In the mid-1960s, James Lovelock first postulated a regulatory role for the biosphere in feedback mechanisms within the Earth system. Initially named the Earth Feedback hypothesis, Lovelock later renamed it the Gaia hypothesis, and subsequently further developed the theory with American evolutionary theorist Lynn Margulis during the 1970s. In parallel, the field of systems science was developing across numerous other scientific fields, driven in part by the increasing availability and power of computers, and leading to the development of climate models that began to allow the detailed and interacting simulations of the Earth's weather and climate. Subsequent extension of these models has led to the development of Earth system models (ESMs) that include facets such as the cryosphere and the biosphere.

As an integrative field, Earth system science assumes the histories of a vast range of scientific disciplines, but as a discrete study it evolved in the 1980s, particularly at NASA, where a committee called the Earth System Science Committee was formed in 1983. The earliest reports of NASA's ESSC, Earth System Science: Overview (1986), and the book-length Earth System Science: A Closer View (1988), constitute a major landmark in the formal development of Earth system science. Early works discussing Earth system science, like these NASA reports, generally emphasized the increasing human impacts on the Earth system as a primary driver for the need of greater integration among the life and geo-sciences, making the origins of Earth system science parallel to the beginnings of global change studies and programs.

Four Spheres Part 1 (Geo and Bio): Crash Course Kids #6.1

In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina talks about two of the four spheres that make up our planet; The Geosphere and the Biosphere. What's in these spheres? How do they affect us? How do they fit into the puzzle that is Earth? All is contained within!

This first series is based on 5th grade science. We're super excited and hope you enjoy Crash Course Kids!

///Standards Used in This Video///
5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. [Clarification Statement: Examples could include the influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; the influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; and the influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere. The geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere are each a system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to the interactions of two systems at a time.]

Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet?
Crash Course Main Channel:
Facebook -
Twitter -
Tumblr -

Credits...

Executive Producers: John & Hank Green
Producer & Editor: Nicholas Jenkins
Cinematographer & Director: Michael Aranda
Host: Sabrina Cruz
Script Supervisor: Mickie Halpern
Writer: Ben Kessler
Consultant: Shelby Alinsky
Script Editor: Blake de Pastino

Thought Cafe Team:
Stephanie Bailis
Cody Brown
Suzanna Brusikiewicz
Jonathan Corbiere
Nick Counter
Kelsey Heinrichs
Jack Kenedy
Corey MacDonald
Tyler Sammy
Nikkie Stinchcombe
James Tuer
Adam Winnik

Real World: Earth System Science

This NASA video segment introduces Earth System Science. Examples are provided that explain how systems are created by parts interconnecting with other parts to make a whole. Color animation and examples of systems model how they work. The use of graphs, charts, and drawings to communicate thinking is emphasized in this segment.

Earth Science

... The American Geological Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit federation of 45 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists.

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Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resilience to natural hazards, and the health of the environment.



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Earth science (also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earth sciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. It is arguably a special case in planetary science, the Earth being the only known life-bearing planet. There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth science.

There are four major disciplines in earth sciences, namely geography, geology, geophysics and geodesy. These major disciplines use physics, chemistry, biology, chronology and mathematics to build a quantitative understanding of the principal areas or spheres of the Earth system.

The following fields of science are generally categorized within the geosciences:

- Geology describes the rocky parts of the Earth's crust (or lithosphere) and its historic development. Major subdisciplines are mineralogy and petrology, geochemistry, geomorphology, paleontology, stratigraphy, structural geology, engineering geology and sedimentology.

- Geophysics and Geodesy investigate the figure of the Earth, its reaction to forces and its magnetic and gravity fields. Geophysicists explore the Earth's core and mantle as well as the tectonic and seismic activity of the lithosphere.

- Soil science covers the outermost layer of the Earth's crust that is subject to soil formation processes (or pedosphere). Major subdisciplines include edaphology and pedology.

- Oceanography and hydrology (includes limnology) describe the marine and freshwater domains of the watery parts of the Earth (or hydrosphere). Major subdisciplines include hydrogeology and physical, chemical, and biological oceanography.

- Glaciology covers the icy parts of the Earth (or cryosphere).

- Atmospheric sciences cover the gaseous parts of the Earth (or atmosphere) between the surface and the exosphere (about 1000 km). Major subdisciplines are meteorology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics.

- A very important linking sphere is the biosphere, the study of which is biology. The biosphere consists of all forms of life, from single-celled organisms to pine trees to people. The interactions of Earth's other spheres - lithosphere/geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and/or cryosphere and pedosphere - create the conditions that can support life.


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Physical Science 9.2a - The Earth Moon Sun System

The Earth Moon Sun System. The orbit of the moon around the earth, the orbit of the earth around the sun, and a discussion of the relative sizes and distances. From the Physical Science course by Derek Owens.

Earth Science Systems

After viewing this video, the viewer should be familiar with the interaction of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and how events in one effect the others.
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Understanding Earth System Science

Interview with Sarah Cornell, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Read more here:

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 9. The Rock Cycle and the Geological Timescale

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013)
Lec 09. Introduction to Earth System Science -- The Rock Cycle and the Geological Timescale --
View the complete course:

Instructor: Julie Ferguson, Ph.D.

License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA
Terms of Use:
More courses at

Description: Earth System Science covers the following topics: the origin and evolution of the Earth, atmosphere, oceans, perspective of biogeochemical cycles, energy use, and human impacts on the Earth system.

Recorded October 16, 2013.

Required attribution: Ferguson, Julie. Introduction to Earth System Science 1 (UCI OpenCourseWare: University of California, Irvine), [Access date]. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 United States License. (

How the Earth works (as seen from space) - All parts

How the Earth works
Earth System 0. Earth from Space (Intro)
Earth System 1. Hurricanes
Earth System 2. Vapour in the Atmosphere
Earth System 3. Antarctica: the Polar Jet & the Antarctic Brine
Earth System 4. The Molten Rock
Earth System 5. Phytoplankton: the Sahara & the Amazon
Earth System 6. Wild Fires
Earth System 7. The power of the Sun
Earth System 8. The Human Race

Satellites enable us to provide consistent, long-term observations, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Monitoring the Earth from space helps us understand how the Earth works and affects much of our daily lives. Monitoring conditions in space and solar flares from the sun help us understand how conditions in space affect the Earth.


Video put together for the MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London
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05. Earth Systems Analysis (Tank Experiment)

The Atmosphere, the Ocean and Environmental Change (GG 140)

Several experiments are performed using a water tank with an input flow of water and an output flow. These experiments demonstrate the concepts of equilibrium and steady-state in system analysis and are analogous to various Earth systems; lakes and rivers and the overall heat budget of the planet. The greenhouse effect in the atmosphere is a mechanism for increasing the heat input from the sun in the overall heat budget of the Earth system.

00:00 - Chapter 1. System Analysis (Tank Experiment)
13:35 - Chapter 2. Steady State Calculations
23:34 - Chapter 3. System Analogies
35:59 - Chapter 4. Plotting Qin and Water Depth versus Time

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

The Earth: Crash Course Astronomy #11

Phil starts the planet-by-planet tour of the solar system right here at home, Earth.

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Table of Contents
Earth is a Planet 0:03
Layers of Earth 1:25
The Magnetic Field 5:10
Atmosphere and the Human Influence 6:14

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PBS Digital Studios:

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PHOTOS/VIDEOS
Planets:
Mercury:
Venus:
Earth:
Mars:
Jupiter:
Saturn: [credit: Photo by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/Gordan Ugarkovic]
Uranus:
Neptune:

Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall:
Perspective on a cloudy day: [credit: Oleg Artemyev]
Rain droplets:
Yellowston Mud Pot:
Sea otters holding hands:
Continental Drift: [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio]
Mission to Bennu: [credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab]
[credit: San Diego Supercomputer Center / Nature]
Excerpt from Dynamic Earth [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]
Clouds:
Aurora Borealis: [credit: Fotograf Göran Strand]
Waves On Rocky Shore 1080 (2011):
A Year In The Life Of Earth’s CO2: [credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center]
NASA | 2014 Continues Long-Term Global Warming:

ESS2A - Earth Materials and Systems

In this video Paul Andersen describes the four major spheres on planet Earth. The geosphere makes up the mass of the planet and includes the major landforms. The hydrosphere is all of the water and the atmosphere is all of the gases. The biosphere exists where the others spheres interface. A K-12 teaching progression is also included.

Intro Music Atribution
Title: I4dsong_loop_main.wav
Artist: CosmicD
Link to sound:
Creative Commons Atribution License

All of the images are licensed under creative commons and public domain licensing:
File:Broccoli-tree.svg, n.d.
File:Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Convection-snapshot.gif. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Diorite.jpg, n.d.
File:Earth Poster.svg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Endeavour Silhouette STS-130.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, May 9, 2013.
File:Iceberg with Hole Near Sanderson Hope 2007-07-28 2.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, April 13, 2013.
File:Loboc River.png. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Meteoritenfund Auf Wüstenpflaster.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Pangaea Continents.svg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Pinatubo Ash Plume 910612.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Rockcycle.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Seawifs Global Biosphere.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, June 3, 2013.
File:Shipot.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
File:Siltstone1.jpg, n.d.
File:The Earth Seen from Apollo 17.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, June 3, 2013.
File:Top of Atmosphere.jpg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, June 2, 2013.
File:Vostok Petit Data.svg. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 3, 2013.
Offiikart. English: Recycle Logo, June 8, 2011. Own work.

Earth's Systems and How they Work

Notes for Mr. Dove's APES Class. This is an introduction to the Earth's major systems and how they work.

Big Idea 3: Earth's Systems Interact

Observe the events that show how Earth works as a set of interconnected systems.

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