Ch. 3 sections 2 and 3 notes



Earth and Environment


Ch. 3: Earth’s Environmental Systems

Sect.s 2 and 3

Earth’s Interacting Systems

The ________________________________characteristics of the Earth are critical to the health and survival of its inhabitants.

Earth is an integrated and connected system that consists of rock, air, water, and living things that all

• interact with each other.

Systems receive inputs and __________________________ of energy. Inputs into the Earth’s system include energy, information and matter.

Earth’s Systems – Input and Output


Energy (solar energy, energy produced by human activity)

Information (genes, DNA)

___________________ (chemicals or physical materials)






The Gulf of Mexico receives


of water, nutrients, and pollution from the Mississippi River and land.

Shrimpers and fisherman harvest the


from the Gulf of Mexico that is shrimp and fish. Can you draw a diagram representing the Gulf of Mexico SYSTEM? Can you think of other inputs and outputs to this system?

Feedback Loops

Feedback loops regulate systems on Earth.

Negative Feedback Loops – Result in system _________________________

Positive Feedback Loops – Result in a system moving to the extreme

Examples of Feedback Loops

Negative Feedback Loop


When the house gets too cold, the thermostat will turn on the furnace to heat it up. If you have it set at 69 degrees, it will heat until it reads that it is 69 degrees.

Positive Feedback Loop


Injured tissue releases signal chemicals that activate platelets in the blood. An activated platelet releases chemicals to activate more platelets, causing a rapid cascade and the formation of a blood clot. (platelets will stick together at the site of the injury)

Earth’s Spheres

• Categorizing Earth’s environmental systems can help make Earth’s complexity and environmental issues easier to understand.

So scientists divide the Earth into spheres by composition or make-up.









Keep in mind, all of the spheres interact and overlap.


Made of all the rock at and ______________________ the Earth’s surface.

Distance through is 12,756km.

Three distinct layers, the ___________________, mantle, and core.

The __________________________________ is part of the crust – it is the outermost layer of the Earth’s surface.


The atmosphere of the Earth is a mixture of mostly

______________________, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.

It protects the earth, provides__________________________, and creates our weather patterns.

Contains _____________________________ which protects us from the sun’s radiation.

Composition of the Earth’s Atmosphere

Nitrogen makes up ___________ of the Earth’s atmosphere. It gets into the atmosphere when animals and plants decay…and even when volcanoes erupt.

________________________ is the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere and it is produced primarily by plants.

Gases including argon, carbon dioxide, ______________________ and water vapor make up the rest of the

• atmosphere.

The atmosphere also contains many types of tiny, solid particles, or atmospheric dust. Atmospheric dust is mainly soil but includes salts, ash from fires, volcanic ash, _____________________ matter from combustion, pollen, and aerosols.

Why Do We Need the Earth’s Atmosphere?

Certain gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, ______________________ instead of letting it escape into space.

The term used to describe the trapping of heat is the __________________________________________.

Today, there is too much _______________________________ in the atmosphere which traps more and more heat in. The trapped heat increases the temperature of the planet.


The hydrosphere includes all of the water on earth in rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, polar

___________________, and __________________________water.

75% of the Earth is comprised of water.

The water cycle shows the many routes that water take on the planet.

Evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, and condensation are the major processes of the


Groundwater – some water soaks down through the soil and rock to recharge water storage areas underground (___________________________).


B. Lakes and Rivers C. Fresh Water D. Salt Water in Oceans and Salt Lakes E. Groundwater Ice







Layer of the earth that ________________________________.

It includes the _______________part of the atmosphere, the _____________ part of the geosphere, and the hydrosphere.

Life needs water, energy, and temperatures from 10 – 40 degrees Celsius.

The biosphere is what distinguishes Earth from other _______________ in the solar system.