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Spheres of the Earth
The Earth is the most suitable planet to support life. It has three major components that we call as the realms of the Earth-lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The three components along with suitable climate make life possible on Earth. All living things exist in a narrow zone called the biosphere. Now let us have a close look at each of the spheres.
The word lithosphere is derived from the Greek word Lithos, which means rocky. The Lithosphere is the land on which we live. It is the solid outer layer of the Earth consisting of rocks and soils.
The word Hydro means water in Greek. The hydrosphere consists of water bodies such as oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, ice caps on mountains and water vapour in the atmosphere.
The word Atmo means air in Greek. Atmosphere is the envelope of air that surrounds the Earth. Different types of gases make up the atmosphere. The major gases are Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21%). The other gases like Carbon dioxide, Hydrogen, Helium, Argon, and Ozone are present in meager amounts.
The narrow belt of interaction among the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere, where life exists is known as Biosphere. Bio means life in Greek. It consists of distinct zones. Each zone has its own climate, plant and animal life. These zones are known as ecosystems.
The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve in the Indian Ocean covers an area of 10,500 sq.km in the ocean.
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