The Biosphere and the Global System

Goods and the Biosphere

The Biosphere and the Global System, figure 1

Imporatance of the Biosphere

Biomes provide 3 key services to the planet. These are:

  • Healthy air
  • Healthy soils
  • Water supply and protection against flood risk

Regulating the Atmosphere

Soil Health

Managing the World’s Water

Other benefits

The biosphere regulates the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in our atmosphere – through photosynthesis and respiration of living things

We cannot survive without the plants and crops grown in soils around the world

Plants store huge amounts of water and are a vital line of defence against flooding.

The biosphere and the pants and animals that live within them provide an important psychological and aesthetic benefit for people.

Without respiration producing carbon dioxide the Earth would cool down and there would be another glacial period

Most temperate soils, such as brown soils, would be infertile without the breakdown of leaf litter to add nutrients to the soil.

In 2016 severe flooding in Bangladesh was blamed on illegal logging along the floodplain.

Detoxification of human life and our waste that is produced.

Forests such as the Amazon Rainforest, breath out oxygen during the daylight hours

The decomposition is greatly aided by the biosphere, as earthworms churn up the soil and bacteria breaks it down.

Mangrove forests line many tropical coastal areas and soak up salt water without impacting the plants – when these are cut down, the impacts of flooding increases.

Allows a biodiversity of plants and animals to exist.

Trees and plants are a huge ‘carbon sink’ and store carbon that would otherwise dramatically impact our climate

Soils can filter water to remove impurities and waste.

Hydrological Cycle

The water cycle and biosphere interact in many ways as shown in the video. The alteration of the biosphere will impact the hydrological cycle, too. For example, in a rainforest biome, we wouldn’t expect water to be stored in glaciers or ice. It’s simply too hot for this. However, we would expect water to be stored in glaciers and/or ice in a montane biome.

The length of time the water is stored there may vary depending on conditions: in some habitats we may expect temperatures to climb high enough that any ice covering mountain tops melts during the warmer months, but this may not be true in other habitats.

The Biosphere and the Global System, figure 1

What are the services provided by the biosphere?
Your answer should include: Water / Supply / Regulating / Atmosphere / Soil / Health
How is the biosphere important?
Your answer should include: Climate / Water / Goods / Services
How do biomes regulate the water system and climate of the planet?
Your answer should include: Hydrological / Cycle / Transpiration / Temperature / Rainfall