Environmental science is a branch of biology that studies the earth’s atmosphere, ecosystems and geological changes. The natural environment is the total external living and non living things occurring naturally, which means in this case non-artificial. The word is often used in conjunction with the Earth or its geological formation. Studies in this field attempt to answer questions concerning the stability of the environment, how it is influenced by human activities, and how it affects us. One of the most important questions that scientists attempt to answer in the study of the natural environment is climate change.
Throughout the Earth’s history, large and small natural environments have evolved and changed. Some examples of these are rain forests, tropical rainforests, arctic tundra, boreal forests, desert landscapes, island ecosystems, ocean basins and coral reefs. Many of these environments are highly diverse and reproduce differently from one area to another. There are also similarities among the different environments, for instance, some require water while others do not, some have animals and plants in them, and some are suited to specific environments because of their temperature, nutrient distribution and pH level.
A part of the study of the environment is studying the effects of human activities on the atmosphere in a given area. The concentration of human beings in an area is known as density, since there are more people in a given area than what is required to maintain the natural equilibrium of the environment. There are many sources of pollution in the atmosphere. For example, factories emit gases, landfills are filled with waste, vehicles produce emissions, and even aerosols released from aircraft. The rate of human presence and the sources of pollution are changing the atmospheric balance and climate.
The word environment comes from two Latin words: environment (reversus) and terra (water). Environment is related to atmosphere. The atmosphere consists of all the forces of nature that support living organisms. The atmosphere also contains the concentration of dissolved solids, gaseous vapors and greenhouse gases that provide food for living organisms. All these factors combined cannot create a stable environment unless some external influence acts to maintain it. This external influence is known as the influence of climate.
It has been said that man made the environment so that he could study it and adapt it to his own needs. Therefore, the environment that surrounds us is a part of our cultural patterns and knowledge base. It is within the competence of culture to affect the environment in terms of its reproduction of living things. These cultural patterns and knowledge base are known as habitat.
The factors of anionic and non-abiotic factors on the earth’s surface can affect the environment. The abiotic factors are the essential composition of the soil and of its organisms and they include microbial, chemical, and physical properties of soil particles. The non-abiotic factors affect the earth’s surface in terms of the life forms that exist on it. There exist many non-abiotic factors such as formation of landmasses, tectonic movement of rocks and other land structures, ice caps, and volcanoes.