Updated: Jan 9
Do you ever wonder what came first? Nature or Earth? Are they even co-related? Excellent questions! Let us explore together a bit.
Earth is the planet where we live and simply put, Nature is everything that is found in or around Earth. As the Earth started forming 4.5 billion years ago, Nature also took shape in various forms as it surrounded this new planet.
Scientists say that our Earth is the only place in the solar system where liquid water exists and therefore, the only planet where life exists. Of course, as new discoveries are made in space, some day we may find that there is or are similar planet(s) in the outer space like ours.
According to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA), from space, Earth looks like a blue marble with white swirls, areas of brown, yellow, green, and white. The blue is water, which covers about 71% of Earth's surface. The white swirls are clouds. The areas of brown, yellow and green are land and the areas of white are ice and snow.
Earth consists of land, air, water, and life elements. Land contains mountains, valleys, forests, and flat areas. The air is made up of different gases, mainly nitrogen and oxygen. Water includes oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, rain, snow, and ice. Finally, life embraces people, animals, and plants. All these elements interact constantly. For instance:
Clouds in the air drop rain and snow on land
Water gives life to plants and animals
Volcanoes on land send gas and dust into the air
People and wildlife breathe air and drink water
Did you know that there are millions of species, or kinds of life, on Earth? Their sizes range from very tiny to very large. Ever since Earth was formed it has been changing continuously. Some of the changes are drastic and noticeable such as an earthquake or tsunami. But most of them are so very slow and mild that they are hardly noticeable.
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The Relationship Between Earth and Nature
Nature is the physical world on our Earth and everything in it. The trees, biomes, birds, and animals are all examples of Nature. Nature includes the elements of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, but not the humans or human creations. Everything that the humans need, such as food, water, clothing, and medicine are provided by Nature.
Nature also takes care of the many chores that we, humans do not need to do but just enjoy. For example, bees and certain other insects pollinate and disperse seeds over huge areas. Vultures and other meat-eating creatures act as natural scavengers removing dead animals. Bacteria get rid of the last invisible piece of animal carcass. The migrating herds of birds and animals such as bison keep the air and the soil fresh. Birds get rid of unwanted insects. On the ground the migrating animals naturally aerate the soil as they trample the Earth while moving. In the sea, the coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass ecosystems provide nurseries for the world’s fisheries, while the open ocean is used for migrating routes for whales and other sea behemoths and for hunting. The natural world helps regulate the Earth’s climate. Ecosystems such as rainforests, peatlands, and mangroves store significant amounts of carbon, while the ocean captures massive amounts of carbon through phytoplankton.
Last but not the least, our Earth and the Nature surrounding it are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other. We humans must make sure that we understand both so they can be protected at any cost.
Did you know?
· The earliest forms of life on Earth microscopic organisms (microbes) that left imprints of their presence in rocks about 3.7 billion years ago. The imprints consisted of a type of carbon molecule that is produced by all living species.
· Biosphere or ecosphere is that segment of Earth where living organisms are present. They consist of all types of ecosystems on our planet Earth.