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The Biosphere includes all life on Earth including life living on the Earth's Geosphere and in Hydrosphere, including humans and all organic matter that has not yet decomposed. This important sphere distinguishes Earth from all other planets in our solar system as life evolved (and con
Helping students build their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they are connected is difficult. Review the graphics below to help identify the parts of the Earth System and the processes that connect them at the local, regional, and global scales.
Forests are an important and common feature of the Earth’s land cover, covering 31 percent of the total land surface. There are two regions in particular where forests are common.
Please consider using this graphic organizer to help students analyze the processes and components of Earth System phenomena.
NASA Worldview is a free online visualization tool that is a great launchpad for learners who are new (or
Explore using units in calculations with the Leaf Area Index (LAI). LAI is a ratio that describes the number of square meters of leaves per square meter of available land surface. Because of the units in the ratio, it is dimensionless.
Explore using units for calculations with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). As can be seen through a prism, many different wavelengths make up the spectrum of sunlight. When sunlight shines on objects, certain wavelengths are absorbed and other wavelengths are reflected.
Scientific data are often represented by assigning ranges of numbers to specific colors. The colors are then used to make an images which allow us to see patterns more easily. Students will make a false color image using a set of numbers.
The fires in Greece during the summer of 2007 devastated large tracks of forest and ground cover in this Mediterranean region. These before (left) and after (right) images were taken on July 18 and September 4 by Landsat-7. The red areas show the extent of the biomass loss from the fires.
This USGS activity leads students to an understanding of what remote sensing means and how researchers use it to study changes to the Earth’s surface, such as deforestation.