Question: Outline the components of the biophysical environment. Choose ONE component and describe the composition and features of this element. Briefly explain how it interacts with the other spheres.
The biophysical environment is the biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development and evolution. The biophysical environment is made up of four components, the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The atmosphere is one component that has many intricate features and characteristics that affect the rest of the Biophysical environment. The way these components interact with each other determines how the local and global environments function.
There are four components of the biophysical environment. The atmosphere is the gaseous layer that surrounds the earth. The biosphere is the part of the earth in which all life, including flora and fauna exist, or are capable of living. The Lithosphere is defined as the rock and crust surface that covers the Earth. The all the waters on the earth's surface, such as lakes and seas, and sometimes including water over the earth's surface, such as clouds.
The Earth's atmosphere is the thin layer of gases that surrounds k,the Earth. It is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, 0.03% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. The atmosphere extends to around 500 km above the surface of the earth.
The atmosphere is made up of four levels. The lower level is called the troposphere. It is home to the climate system that maintains the conditions required to sustain life on earth. It contains all the weather systems that produce precipitation, surface winds, and other climatic variables that impact on the way we utilise the land. The troposphere extends up from about 8-10 km from the poles and 15-17 km above the equator. The next atmospheric level is the stratosphere. This extends from about 10km – 50km above the earth’s surface. The stratosphere is calm compared to the troposphere. The temperatures in the lower section generally stay the same. In the upper stratosphere, temperatures increase with altitude. The mesosphere is the next level. This level extends to about 80km above the earth’s surface. It is very cold and windy with temperatures going as low as -90 degrees and as high as 3000km/h winds. The last level is the thermosphere. This level extends to around 500km above the surface of the earth. Unlike the mesosphere, the thermosphere is very hot reaching temperatures of 1500 degrees. This is due to atomic oxygen absorbing UV radiation.
Since the industrial revolution, humans have been affecting the composition of the atmosphere by polluting the air. These harmful gases that have been let into the atmosphere are what are causing issues such as global