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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.

Energy Cycle

Energy from the Sun is the driver of many Earth System processes. This energy flows into the Atmosphere and heats this system up It also heats up the Hydrosphere and the land surface of the Geosphere, and fuels many processes in the Biosphere.

The Geosphere is associated with solid portions of the Earth. It includes the continental and oceanic crust and all other layers of the Earth's interior.  This includes all rocks, sediments and soils, surface landforms and the processes that shape the Earth's surface.

This sphere is the outer part of the Earth System that extends nearly 500 km above Earth's surface and includes an ever-changing mixture of gas and small particles surrounding the Earth’s surface.