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Do we know our environment?- An overview of the surroundings we live in

Updated on March 2, 2015
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Do we know our environment?

Environment is a term used very commonly by all of us. Some of us use it for referring to the nature around us; some of us just consider it as the space in which we live. Environment actually is the surrounding of any organism in which he/she lives; it includes living and non-living components. So, when we talk of environment, it is not only the nature around us. Living and non-living component together make up the environment. In more specific terms, they are biotic and abiotic components. Biotic components are the living components and abiotic components are the non-living components. Biotic and abiotic components interact to provide a livable surrounding. Environment has got its definition from discrete places, ranging from scientists to armature nature lovers. The sum total of everything said shows that environment is everything that can affect a person.

We all claim to know about environment in which we live, but we need to introspect, do we really understand our environment?

Our environment constitute of two components – the physical component and the biological component. The physical component includes the air, water and land which are essential features of a place. The biological component includes the animals, plants and man, which make a place alive. All these components when work together makes up the environment. Air, water and land are essential for living whereas, plants, animals and man make life possible. Imagining life without any of these, impossible! For a healthy and safe living, we need to take care of all of these and for a peaceful and aesthetic living, we need to enhance these. For enhancing these, we need to respect and love each of the components and take care of it as much as we can.

Our environment is not merely an area; it is a dynamic surrounding where interactions keep occurring. These can be between man and nature, man and animal, animals among themselves and so on. The numbers of interactions occurring are innumerable that we cannot image to calculate. These interactions are the basis that keeps life working. These interactions among various organisms and organisms with nature form life cycles. One of the best examples of this cycle is the food chain, which we all know about. It is process of one organism eating up the other which leads to a transfer of energy. Plants are consumed by herbivores and herbivores by carnivores, and then the carnivore dies and all the nutrients get dissolved in land again, and from these dissolved nutrients eventually form plants. This whole cycle maintains a balance in nature. When all the food chains are combined together, they make up a food web. This web is the best example of understanding the working of our surrounding or specifically our environment.

This environment that is surrounding us has some other perspective also. We share a very special relationship with some other factors also. These factors are atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Atmosphere in our environment is the combination of all gases that surround our planet Earth. There are various gases which are part of atmosphere , some of these are carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, helium, ozone etc. All these gases also keep interacting with each other for providing us a stable atmosphere. All of the gases may not be a living component but each one of them plays a major role in our environment.

The next factor is the hydrosphere, which is extremely valuable to all of us and is responsible for all our concerns nowadays. It includes all water resources both surface and ground water. It is the reservoir of the drinking miracle and plays a major part of our environment. This hydrosphere is responsible for life and various other phenomenons like change of season, rainfall, drought etc. Hydrosphere is the part that has given rise to the life and has become inevitable for all the activities. Another factor is the place where we live, stand, walk and do all our activities. It is the lithosphere which is the top crust of the earth. This layer consists of soil, rocks and various other elements. The thickness of this layer makes it possible to live and do all activities over it. It has taken billions of years to form this layer the way it looks today. It is responsible for bringing up life. Earth’s crust is the top most layers where reliefs, topography and everything else is seen. These are magnificent formations which decide the living pattern of an area.

The thought of appreciation of environment can never be complete without understanding the depth of it. All these factors, components and interactions help us understand our environment in a much better way. All these elements are equally essential to us. Their absence is unimaginable; we cannot even stand the scarcity of these. Life of any organism will not be possible without any of these. So, the next time we think of our environment we should not look at it as an area but rather as a dynamic system where life exists and continuously interacts. And this interaction makes our lives possible to live.

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