The Biology Topics of biotechnology involve using living organisms to develop new products or solve problems.
What is Biosphere ? – Natural Resources and Environmental Systems
Everything that surrounds us is collectively termed the environment. The environment acts as a life support system for us, since it is from the environment that we get food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, and all other requirements of our day-to-day life.
Biosphere means regions of Earth’s crust and atmosphere occupied by the living organism. The biosphere can be divided into three physical divisions – land or lithosphere, water or hydrosphere and air or atmosphere. Lithosphere is the outer solid crust of Earth which we call land. It’s upper weathered part forms the soil.
The hydrosphere is the water component of Earth. 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water in the form of seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, impoundments (= reservoirs), dams, etc. Underground water is another component of the hydrosphere. Atmosphere is the blanket of air that covers the whole Earth.
Biosphere has two types of components, biotic and abiotic. Living beings constitute the biotic component of the biosphere. Air, water, and soil (land) form the non-living or abiotic component of the biosphere. Both types of these provide resources to meet the basic needs of life forms. However, the energy required for supporting these life forms is ultimately obtained from the sun. Sun’s energy is used in the synthesis of food for all living beings.
Types of Natural Resources
Natural resources are living and non-living components of nature which are used by humans to meet their requirements. Since natural resources are available only from the Earth, they are called Earth resources. Based on their abundance, natural resources are of two main types, inexhaustible and exhaustible.
- Inexhaustible Natural Resources: They are natural resources that occur in such abundance that they are not likely to get exhausted despite continuous use, e.g., air, water, and solar energy.
- Exhaustible Natural Resources: These are natural resources that are available in limited quantity. They may to get depleted by continuous and indiscriminate human consumption. Exhaustible resources are of two kinds, renewable and non-renewable.
They are exhaustible resources that get replenished regularly. These include both living and non-living resources which can replenish themselves by quick recycling, e.g., forests, wildlife, soil, and underground water. Renewable resources can last forever if they are used responsibly.
They are exhaustible resources which once used can not be replenished. Thus, these resources are non-living and cannot replenish themselves by recycling and replacement. If not used carefully they will ultimately get exhausted. Their increased consumption results in quicker exhaustion, e.g., minerals, and fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.
Differences between Renewable and Non-renewable Resources
|Renewable Resources||Non-renewable Resources|
|1. These resources are replenished within a reasonable time.||1. Replenishment is not possible.|
|2. These resources can be used forever provided they are used in limited amounts.||2. These resources will ultimately lessen and get exhausted.|
|3. They are both abiotic and biotic.||3. They are abiotic.|
|4. Their availability can be increased only by enhancing replenishment.||4. Their increased exploitation will result in quick exhaustion.|
|5. Examples: Forest, wildlife, underground water, and soil.||5. Examples: Fossil fuels, minerals.|
Renewable resources such as underground water, forests, and wildlife, if not managed properly can become non-renewable. Since the formation of soil takes thousands of years and is not renewable in the life span of many generations of human beings, it is thought of as a non-renewable resource.
All the abiotic components of the environment form weather and climate of a particular area.
Weather: Every moment there are changes in the temperature, biometric pressure, humidity, precipitation (rainfall), sunshine (solar radiation or light), cloudiness, wind direction, speed, and other conditions in the troposphere (lowest region of the atmosphere). These short-term changes in the properties of the troposphere from the weather. The weather changes take place every day. A daily weather report is transmitted via radio and television. It tells us about the temperature, rain, cloud, and sunshine of an area.
Climate: It is the average weather in an area. It represents the general pattern of atmospheric or weather conditions, seasonal variations, and weather extremes, in a region over an extended period, say 50 years or 100 years (at least 30 years). For example, desert areas have a hot climate whereas snowbound mountains have a cold climate. The most important factors determining the climate of an area are temperature with its seasonal variations and the quality and distribution of precipitation over each year.