Environment – Meaning and Components

Environment – Meaning

  • Everything supporting an organism that effects it during its lifetime is known as the environment.
  • It is the sum of water, air, land, and interrelationships among themselves, along with humans, living organisms, and property.
  • Environment includes both physical and biological surrounding with their interactions.
  • Environmental studies helps us understand the approach towards the environment, and humans impact on the environment.
  • Environment is global in natures, meaning it includes geography, geology, history, economics, physics, biotechnology, geophysics, soil science, hydrology, and even remote sensing!

Environmental Science – The Scope

Environmental science is a multidisciplinary science which influences every section of the society. Its main aspects include:

  • Conservation of nature
  • Conservation of natural resources like water, land.
  • Reduction and control of environmental pollution.
  • Conservation of biological diversity.
  • Stability of environment.
  • Stability of human population.
  • Developing sustainable sources of energy.
  • Social issues related to development.
  • Social issues related to environment.

Environmental Science – Importance

  • Environment is important for all living things. Environmental issues like global warming, exploitation of energy resources, oil-spills, forest fires, depletion of ozone layers impacts everyone.
  • Environmental Science deals with the analysis of the process in land, air, water, soil, and organisms which can degrade the environment. Thus, Environmental Science is the study to establish a safer, cleaner, and healthier natural ecosystem.
  • Environmental Science deals with issues like clean and safe drinking water, hygienic living conditions, cleaner and fresher air, land fertility, healthier food, and sustainable development.
  • Some of the emerging dimensions of environmental science include environmental protection, environmental assessment, environmental engineering, sustainable environmental law, and environmental management.

Environment – Components

The basic components of environment includes air or atmosphere, lithosphere or rocks & soil, hydrosphere or water, living components or biosphere.

  • Biotic Components (Living): The living parts of the environment, along with their association with a lot of interrelated populations belonging to different species, inhabiting a common environment. The populations belong to animal, plant, and microbial community.

The biotic community can further be divided into Autotrophs, Saprotrophs, and Heterotrophs.

  • Abiotic Components (Non-Living): These are the determining factors which help build the characteristic of living organism in the environment. Abiotic components may act as limiting factor, as one single factor can limit the range of an organism.
    • Abiotic factors can further be categorized into: Physical Factors, Inorganic Factors, and Organic Factors.
      • Physical Factors: Major components includes temperature, soil, light (energy), water (rainfall), atmospheric pressure.
      • Inorganic Factors: Major components includes Sulphur, nitrates, phosphates.
      • Organic Factors: Major components includes water, oxygen.

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