We humans not only live in the biosphere but are absolutely dependent upon it for almost every aspect of our existence. 


Threats to the Biosphere

Some of the changes humans have caused to the biosphere are extremely dangerous, especially those we regard as irreversible. Among the better known examples are:

1. The atmospheric build-up of carbon dioxide, (causing global warming).
2. Pollution of fresh and salt waters, and of soil and air.
3. Erosion and other effects of deforestation.

The Earth's atmosphere is wafer thin when compared with the size of the planet - with about 50% of the atmospheric mass existing in a layer which extends less than 6km out from the surface. The rest of the atmosphere stretches up to about 680km, but it cannot support life and gets progressively thinner as it gets further from the earth. Temperatures in the atmosphere vary greatly, from -55 degrees Celcius to over 2200 degrees Celsius. The distance from the Earth's core to the outer reaches of the atmosphere is 6,550km. All animal and plant life exists in a layer at most 30km thick, so we have a comparatively small amount of space to use on the very surface of the planet.

Most of us are aware that an ever-increasing number of animal and plant species are being pushed towards extinction. In fact, the world may already be losing one species of animal or plant each day.

There are definite signs that people's attitudes towards the environment are changing. Concern is being expressed continually in the media, and young people's knowlege is getting ever greater. However, there are still major hurdles to overcome.

Read More: Why do we Keep Harming the Biosphere?

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