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What is the goal of Ecology?
To understand the interactions that occur within the layers of air, water, soil, and organisms.
Atmosphere
A thin spherical envelope of gasses surrounding the earth's surface.
Troposphere
The lowest layer of earth's atmosphere comprised of:
  1. 78% nitrogen
  2. 21% oxygen
  3. 1% water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane
The troposphere ranges from 6.8 kilometers (at the poles) to 17 kilometers (at sea level).
Greenhouse Gases
Water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane are gases that absorb and release energy that warms the lower atmosphere.

Without greenhouse gases the earth would be too cold to inhabit.
Stratosphere
Its lower portion is commonly known as the ozone layer because it contains O3 gases that filter out most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.


The stratosphere is approximately 17 to 50 kilometers above the earth’s surface.
Hydrosphere
Consist of all the water on or near the earth’s surface.

The oceans cover 71% of the globe containing 97% of earth’s water.

Its parts are known as liquid water (liquid), permafrost (solid), and water vapor (gas).
Geosphere
Is comprised of the earth’s:
  1. Core (intensely hot)
  2. Mantle (mostly rock)
  3. Crust
The crust contains:
  1. Fossil fuels
  2. Minerals n
  3. Nutrients which organisms need to survive.
Biosphere
Is comprised of the:
  1. Atmosphere
  2. Hydrosphere
  3. Geosphere, where life is found
First Law of Thermodynamics (energy)
Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it may only be converted.
Second Law of Thermodynamics (energy)
When energy is converted from its original form energy quality is degraded becoming a lower quality and less useable.
Law of Conservation of Matter
Whenever matter undergoes physical or chemical change, no atoms are created or destroyed.
What are the three factors that sustain earth's life?
  1. The one-way flow of high quality energy from the sun.
  2. The cycling of nutrients (atoms, ions, or molecules needed for survival by living organisms) through parts of the biosphere. The nutrient cycling is dependent upon the Law of Conservation of Matter.
  3. Gravity, which allows the plant to grasp the atmosphere enabling the cycling of chemicals through the air, water, soil, and organisms.
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