Chapter 2 earth as a system
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Chapter 2 Earth as a System. 2.1 Earth: a Unique Planet. Only known planet that: Has liquid water on its surface. Has an atmosphere that contains Oxygen gas Supports life Formed 4.6 billion years ago Not a perfect circle. Oblate sphere. Pg 27 Equatorial Circumference 40,074 km.

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2 1 earth a unique planet
2.1 Earth: a Unique Planet

  • Only known planet that:

    • Has liquid water on its surface.

    • Has an atmosphere that contains Oxygen gas

    • Supports life

    • Formed 4.6 billion years ago

    • Not a perfect circle. Oblate sphere. Pg 27

    • Equatorial Circumference 40,074 km

2 1 compositional zones of earth s interior
2.1 Compositional Zones of Earth’s Interior

  • Crust- the thin, solid, outermost zone of Earth.

    • Continental Crust- 15 to 80 km thick

    • Oceanic Crust- 5-10 km thick

  • Mantle- layer that underlies the crust.

    • Denser than the crust.

    • 2,900 km thick- makes up 2/3 of Earth’s mass

  • Core- The center of Earth

    • Sphere shaped

    • 3,500 km thick

    • Composed of Iron and Nickel

2 1 structural zones of earth s interior
2.1 Structural Zones of Earth’s Interior

  • Lithosphere- The solid, outer layer of Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle. 15-300 km thick

  • Asthenosphere- The solid, plastic layer of the mantle beneath the lithosphere; made of mantle rock that flows very slowly, which allows tectonic plates to move on top of it. 200-250 km thick.

  • Mesosphere- literally, the ‘middle sphere”’ the strong, lower part of the mantle between the asthenosphere and the outer core.

  • Outer Core-Dense liquid underneath the Mesosphere 2,900 km down

  • Inner Core- Dense, rigid solid. Center of the Earth. 5,150 km down.

2 1 earth as a magnetic
2.1 Earth as a Magnetic

  • Earth has a North and South Pole

  • Pg 29 Figure 3 Earth’s magnetic field extends beyond the Earth’s Atmosphere and affects a region of space called the magnetosphere.

  • Source of Magnetic Field may be the liquid iron in Earth’s outer core. Motions within the core produce electric currents that in turn create Earth’s magnetic field.

  • Recent studies indicate that the sun and moon also have magnetic fields. Research in this field can help understand how we have our magnetic field.

2 1 earth s gravity
2.1 Earth’s Gravity

  • Gravity is the force of attraction that exists between all matter in the universe.

  • Newton’s Law of Gravitation states that, “the force of attraction between any two objects depends on the masses of the objects and the distance between the objects”

    • The larger and closer the objects are, the greater the force of gravity is.

2 2 energy in the earth system
2.2 Energy in the Earth system

  • System-An organized group of related object or components that interact to create a whole

    • They can be closed or open systems

2 2 energy in the earth system1
2.2 Energy in the Earth system

  • Matter vs Energy

  • Matter- Anything that has mass and takes up space.

    • Made of atoms and/or molecules

  • Energy-the ability to do work

    • Transforms into heat, light, vibrations, or waves

  • Both can be transferred (or moved) into a system or out of a system

2 1 systems
2.1 Systems

  • Closed System: A system in which energy, but not matter is exchanged with the surroundings

    • Pg 32 Closed Jar- Energy in the form of light and heat can be exchanged through the sides. Because the jar is closed no matter can be exchanged with a closed container.

  • Open System: A system in which both energy and matter can be exchanged with the surroundings.

    • Open Jar, lake,

  • Earth is considered a system-A closed system because matter exchange is limited.

First law of thermodynamics
First Law of Thermodynamics

  • Law of Conservation of Matter:

    • States “Matter cannot be created or destroyed.”

    • It instead, transforms or changes.

      • Example: As a chemical breaks down from a reaction it releases energy in the form of heat.

Earth s four systems
Earth’s Four Systems

  • The Atmosphere

    • 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% other

  • The Hydrosphere

    • 71% of earth covered in water

    • Only 3% is fresh water

  • The Geosphere

    • Largest solid part of earth

  • The Biosphere

    • Composed of all the forms of life/organic matter

Earth s energy budget
Earth’s Energy Budget

  • First Law of Thermodynamics

    • Conservation of energy and matter

  • Second Law of Thermodynamics

    • “When energy transfer takes place, matter becomes less organized with time”

    • Universe’s energy is spread out more and more uniformly over time

Internal sources of energy
Internal Sources of Energy

  • Pg 35 “The Earth’s interior was headed by radioactive decay and gravitational contraction”

    • What does this mean?

  • The Idea of convection

    • Warm things rise…..why???

    • Why is it important….well this process drives the plate motions in the surface layers of the geosphere that create mountain ranges and ocean basins.

External energy sources
External Energy Sources

  • The Sun

    • Solar radiation warms Earth’s atmosphere and surface

    • Convection of air masses causes winds and ocean currents

  • Gravitational Energy

    • From moon and sun cause tides/currents

Cycles of the earth system
Cycles of the Earth system

  • Nitrogen Cycle Pg 36

    • Builds protein that builds cells

  • Carbon Cycle Pg 37

    • Essential substances in the fuels used for life processes.

  • Phosphorus Cycle Pg 37

    • Part of some molecules that organism need to build cells

    • Phosphorus was discovered from extracting it from urine.

  • Water Cycle Pg 38


  • The study of the complex relationships between living things and their nonliving, or abiotic environment.


  • A community of organisms and the environment that the organisms inhabit is called an ecosystem.

    • As large as an ocean or as small as a rotting log.

    • Largest ecosystem is the biosphere

  • Energy flows through these ecosystems

    • producers, consumers, decomposers (food webs)

    • Any examples?

Balancing forces in ecosystems
Balancing Forces in Ecosystems

  • Organisms in an ecosystem use matter and energy.

  • Amounts of matter and energy are limited

  • The largest population that an environment can support at any given time is called the carrying capacity.

Energy transfer
Energy Transfer

  • Starts with the Sun and photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis captures energy that then flows through ecosystems from the plants, to the animals that feed on the plants, and finally to the decomposers of animals and plant remains.

  • Food Webs Pg 41

  • What is an Energy Pyramid? Let’s talk about efficiently of a food web.

Create your own food web
Create your Own food web

  • Create your own food web using the different animals either in the movie “The Lion King”

  • How does the song “The Cycle of Life” related to this food web?