Earth System

Biodiversity refers to the different variety of species living on Earth.  Each species belongs to a web of life and has a right to its existence. The 8.74 million diverse species accounted for on Earth are linked to the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), geosphere (land) and biosphere (living organisms).

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Our marine ecosystem depends on plankton: the base of the marine food chain that provides up to 85% of world oxygen.  The bees, the basis of about 1/3 of our food supply, are natural pollinators in our biosphere. But what’s making them disappear?  The topsoil for growing crops is rapidly declining, infertile or contaminate.  Water is at a staggering low production and no longer meet world’s consumption.

What can we do to improve biodiversity?  How do we minimize threats to biodiversity due to pollution, climate changes and habitat destruction?   What is our choice for Earth– 6th mass extinction or biodiversity of species?

As we serve Earth with humility, the Earth reveals to us its wonderful and intrinsic values and elements.  We spring forth as goodness, kindness, love, the virtues.  We heal our mother Earth and thank our Creator.

Introduction

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The Earth consists of the Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere and Biosphere. Each of these spheres is interconnected with the others. For one sphere to be healthy all must be healthy and if one sphere is damaged, or endangered, they are all affected. Each sphere and the organisms living within it have a symbiotic relation to all the other spheres and their inhabitants.

As humans we need the Geosphere because it is the basic habitats of all living creatures. We need the Atmosphere because it gives us air to breathe. The Hydrosphere offers us water, a basic need, but also offers us plankton which as with most plants creates oxygen which it releases into the atmosphere. We are a part of the Biosphere. All that we eat is part of the Biosphere. Every living organism around us is a part of the Biosphere. The Biosphere is the most dependent sphere, without the other spheres it would not survive.

Biodiversity and Atmosphere

bio-shore3The Atmosphere is the air we breathe, but it is also the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a protective shield between earth and outer space. Pollution is the biggest threat to our ozone layer.  As the ozone layer is damaged temperatures become more extreme which impacts fragile ecosystems. The destruction to these ecosystems, such as coral reefs and ice tundra, threatens the biodiversity of the area.

Biodiversity and Hydrosphere

The Hydrosphere consists of the water component of the earth; such as oceans, inland seas, rivers, lakes, ground water, ice in various forms, and all of the water vapors in the atmosphere. The Hydrosphere covers 70% of the earth and is home to many diverse plants and animals.  As with the Geosphere, the Hydrosphere is made up of ecosystems.

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Coral reefs are one of the most well known and most endangered of these ecosystems. Human pollution, overfishing, and disregard for the frailty of water ecosystems are the biggest threats to the survival of biodiversity in the Hydrosphere. The Hydrosphere is important to all life on earth because every living being – human, animal, or plant – needs water.

Biodiversity and Geosphere

The Geosphere is important to Biodiversity because it affects the world we live in. As Humans we need the Geosphere because it is the basis of the habitats and ecosystems in which all living creatures reside.  It affects our environment and the ecosystems therein. These ecosystems are tropical, temperate, deserts, marine, grasslands, forests, mountains, ice tundra (Antarctica). These ecosystems are the homes and basis of biodiversity. The more diverse the ecosystem the stronger it is and the more resistant to natural disasters.

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The biggest danger to biodiversity in ecosystems is the destruction of these ecosystems. Humans are encroaching on these ecosystems–cutting down trees, destroying natural fields—as the ecosystems shrink the diversity shrinks. The smaller the area the fewer species can survive there.  Pollution is another large danger to ecosystem diversity.

Biodiversity and Biosphere

The Biosphere is compromised of all living beings on earth, from the smallest bacteria to the largest animal or plant. The Biosphere is a global ecosystem where each living being depends on other beings to survive. There are millions of different species on this earth that not one of which is completely self-sufficient.  Whether they need other beings for food, hosts, or even predators they need other species to survive and flourish.

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The biggest threat to Biodiversity in the Biosphere is the expansion of human kind, as we expand we live less area for other species.  In addition, those species we use as food are often over hunted, endangered, even wiped out to extinction for our benefit. What we as humans don’t see is that the more species we wipe out the more fragile our global ecosystem is and the more fragile it is the more species will die out. We as human beings are the biggest threat to the survival of the Biosphere and of our Earth.

Importance of Teaching Biodiversity

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Teaching Biodiversity is important in the development of children, young adults, and grownups. However the younger you start teaching this the stronger impact you will have.  Knowledge of biodiversity, even the most fundamental knowledge allows a child to understand the importance of different life forms; to the earth, to other life forms, and to life on earth. The simplest understanding of Biodiversity allows a child to see that everything has its place, nothing is useless or unimportant. This knowledge can be expanded beyond Biodiversity and into their daily life making them more understanding and accepting of and loving to other people, plants, animals, and the Earth itself.

 

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