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Biosphere

  • By: Anthony R. S. Chiaviello & Shaista Consuelo Amar
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The biosphere is the highest level of organization of the Earth's biological activity. It processes matter and energy transfer with an efficiency of 10 percent across the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and anthrosphere. The atmospheric processes involve a vast number of chemical reactions and gas exchanges within the atmosphere. The hydrosphere consists of the Earth's water systems, needed for organisms living on the planet to survive. The geosphere and biosphere are closely connected through soils that consist of an admixture of air, mineral matter, organic matter, and water. The anthrosphere is the dimension of the biosphere that has been—and continues to be—altered by humans for human activities. The human population is now a direct threat to the biosphere through habitat destruction and atmospheric degradation, ...

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