An Introduction to the Concept of Environment – What Is It?


An Introduction to the Concept of Environment – What Is It?

The environment is everything that we are and everything that we need to be. For most people it is an abstraction, but for those of us who truly care about the environment it is an actuality. The environment is anything that is not man-made, including animals, plants, the sky, oceans, rivers, ice, trees and rocks. The environment includes everything living and non living things existing naturally, which means without exception it does not encompass a man.

The earth consists of living organisms called individuals and species. The earth also includes the atmosphere, the space available above it, the Sun, the planets in the solar system and the moons. The earth orbits the sun, which is a faraway star, and is surrounded by many other celestial bodies such as comets, stars, planets, and comets orbiting close to it. The earth also possesses a huge atmosphere composed of gases, dust, and various types of matter in the atmosphere. About 70% of the earth’s atmosphere is made up of water vapor, which exists in the ocean and around outer space in our planet’s orbit. This is in contrast to the atmosphere of the earth, which consists mainly of gaseous oxygen.

The environment is affected by the living organisms that exist within it. These living organisms include plants, animals and fungi, bacteria, and other forms of life. All of these living organisms need an environment to survive. The environment may provide food, shelter and protection or it may destroy them. Examples of living organisms in the environment are to air, land, oceans, rivers, ice, snow, and flora and fauna.

The natural environments are the places where all types of living organisms occur. These natural environments could be ecosystems such as forests, seas, lakes, bogs, estuaries and wetlands. These natural environments generally co-exist with one another and they allow different forms of life to exist. Examples of living things in the natural environments include marine algae, fishes, birds, amphibians, worms, insects, crustaceans, and plants.

In relation to the earth’s atmosphere, the biosphere refers to any given area in the atmosphere that has a capacity for sustaining life. This may also be inorganic or organic terms. Any biological material such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements is in a biosphere. The biosphere may provide food, shelter, and other necessities for the living things in it; however, if these things are removed, the biosphere will no longer sustain life.

Biomes refer to those specific areas in the earth’s atmosphere that may provide a home for abiotic microbial life. This refers to the community of microorganisms that co-exist in relative harmony in the presence of other living things. A number of different kinds of biomes exist, including nongrowing vegetate biomes, semipelas, and gymnosytes. The difference between biomes and atmospheres is that the former support life; while the latter only support non-biotic microbial life. The earth’s atmosphere and the biomes that live in it constitute an intricate web of interactions that hold the entire weight of the earth together.