What is the environment?
The environment is everything around us. All our surroundings including the air, soil, water, plants, and animals make up the environment.
Biomes and Ecosystems
Plants and animals need a healthy environment to survive. An ecosystem is an area where living organisms interact in a specific way with the local environment to survive. When ecosystems are damaged by man, then some living organisms may not be able to survive. A biome is a large group of similar ecosystems like the desert, savanna, and rainforest.
Biomes and Ecosystems
What is environmental science?
Environmental science studies the environment and how the earth works. Environmental scientists often study how humans have impacted the Earth's environment and how we can reduce the impact that humans have on the environment.
Environmental scientists study things like the atmosphere, the oceans, geology, habitats, and ecology.
The Earth's environment is constantly recycling nutrients so they can be used by different parts of the environment. These cycles are important for the existence of living organisms. Some important cycles include the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, and the food chain.
Food Chain and Web
Human activities have created many environmental issues from land, water, and air pollution. Part of environmental science is to determine how the environment has been impacted and then to work on ways to help the environment recover.
One important aspect of helping the environment to recover is renewable energy. Renewable energy uses energy sources that cannot be "used up." Rather than burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, renewable energy uses energy sources like the wind and the Sun.
Wave and Tidal Energy
Other subjects that may be interesting when studying the environment include:
Ocean Waves and Currents
Interesting Facts about the Environment
- In 2014, the United States produced about 258 million tons of trash. Around 89 million tons of that trash were recycled or composted.
- By recycling 89 million tons of trash, carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by 181 million metric tons.
- In 2015, about 67% of the electricity generated in the United States came from burning fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and petroleum.
- Around 20% of the electricity generated in the United States comes from nuclear power plants.
- If you could harness the energy from all the sunlight that falls on the Earth in one hour, you would have enough energy to supply the world for a year.
- The city with the worst air pollution in the United States is Los Angeles, California.
- Around 40% of the rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for fishing or swimming.
- Water pollution is often a result of land pollution or air pollution that gets transferred to lakes, oceans, and rivers when it rains.
- The ozone layer helps protect us from cancer causing rays from the sun. The ozone layer was damaged by chemicals called Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
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