KEY CONCEPT The biosphere is one of Earth’s four interconnected systems.
The biosphere is the portion of Earth that is inhabited by life. The biosphere includes all ecosystems. – one of Earth’s systems –includes the biota, all the living things in the biosphere
There are three other Earth systems. –hydrosphere—water, ice, and water vapor –atmosphere—air blanketing Earth’s solid and liquid surface –geosphere—geologic features above and below Earth’s surface
Biotic and abiotic factors interact in the biosphere. All four Earth systems are interconnected. The Gaia hypothesis considers Earth as a kind of living organism. – Earth systems interact to yield a biosphere capable of supporting life. – It was developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.
KEY CONCEPT Climate is a key abiotic factor that affects the biosphere.
Climate is the prevailing weather of a region. Climate is the long-term pattern of weather conditions. – average temperature – precipitation – relative humidity Key factors shape an area’s climate. – temperature – sunlight – water – wind
A microclimate is the climate of a small specific place within a larger area.
Earth has three main climate zones. The three main zones are the polar, tropical, and temperate climates. – polar climate: the far northern and southern regions of Earth – tropical zone: surrounds the equator – temperate zone: the wide area in between the polar and tropical zones
The angle of the Sun’s rays help determine an area’s climate. temperate polar tropical temperate polar 90 N
Earth’s tilt on its axis plays a role in seasonal change. Solar heating causes movements in both water and air. –wind –ocean currents Earth’s rotation also has effects on the winds and currents
Landmasses shape inland climates. – larger changes in temperatures – less precipitation Oceans shape coastal climates. – smaller changes in temperatures – higher humidity – more precipitation
Mountains have an effect on climate. western slopeeastern slope –Precipitation occurs on the side of the mountain facing the wind. –On the downwind side, drier and cooler air produce a rain shadow. –A rain shadow is an area of decreased precipitation.
Many organisms survive in a specific climate due to their adaptations.