The Nature of Science

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GeoFacts

Section Earth Science Biosphere

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Earth scientists use specific methods to investigate Earth and beyond.

1.1 Earth Science

Earth science encompasses five areas of study: astronomy, meteorology, geology, oceanography, and environmental science.

1.2 Methods of Scientists

[¡Jjjdjea Scientists use scientific methods to structure their experiments and investigations.

1.3 Communication in Science

Precise communication is crucial for scientists to share their results effectively with each other and with society.

GeoFacts

The temperature of Earth's core is thought to be as high as 7227°C.

It is about 6378 km to the center of Earth.

Seventy percent of Earth's freshwater is contained in glaciers.

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LAUNCH L

Why is precise communication important?

Have you ever explained something to someone only later to find out that what you thought was a clear explanation was confusing, misleading, or even incorrect? Precise communication is an important skill.

Procedure

1. Read and complete the lab safety form.

2. Obtain an object from your teacher. Do not show it to your partner.

3. Write one sentence that accurately describes the object in detail without identifying or naming the object.

4. Give your partner the description and allow him or her a few minutes to identify your object.

5. Now use your partner's description to identify his or her object.

Analysis

1. Identify Were you and your partner able to identify each others' objects? Why or why not?

2. Error Analysis Work together to rewrite each description in your science journals to make them as accurate as possible.

3. Compare Trade the new descriptions with another pair of students. Did this pair of students have an easier time determining the objects than you and your partner did? Why or why not?

Earth's Systems

Make this Foldable to compare Earth's four main systems.

STEP 1 Fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise.

STEP 2 Fold the sheet into fourths (fold in half and half again).

STEP 3 Unfold and cut the top flap along the fold lines to make four tabs. Label the tabs Geosphere, Hydrosphere, A tmosphere, and Biosphere.

Use this Foldable with Section 1.1.

As you read this section, summarize Earth's systems and how they interact.

Scienc^pniine

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Biosphere Foldables

STEP 1 Fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise.

Use this Foldable with Section 1.1.

As you read this section, summarize Earth's systems and how they interact.

Section 1.1

Objectives

I Compare the areas of study within

Earth science. I Identify Earth's systems. I Explain the relationships among

Earth's systems. I Explain why technology is important.

Review Vocabulary technology: the application of knowledge gained from scientific research to solve society's needs and problems

New Vocabulary astronomy meteorology geology oceanography environmental science geosphere atmosphere hydrosphere biosphere

Earth Science

Earth Science

I MAI INK Earth science encompasses five areas of study: astronomy, meteorology, geology, oceanography, and environmental science.

Real-World Reading Link From the maps you use when traveling, to the weather report you use when deciding whether or not to carry an umbrella, Earth science is part of your everyday life.

The Scope of Earth Science

The scope of Earth science is vast. This broad field can be broken into five major areas of specialization: astronomy, meteorology, geology, oceanography, and environmental science.

Astronomy The study of objects beyond Earth's atmosphere is called astronomy. Prior to the invention of sophisticated instruments, such as the telescope shown in Figure 1.1, many astronomers merely described the locations of objects in space in relation to each other. Today, Earth scientists study the universe and everything in it, including galaxies, stars, planets, and other bodies they have identified.

Meteorology The study of the forces and processes that cause the atmosphere to change and produce weather is meteorology. Meteorologists also try to forecast the weather and learn how changes in weather over time might affect Earth's climate.

Figure 1.1 The Keck I and Keck II telescopes are part of the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii. One of the Keck telescopes is visible here in its protective dome.

Figure 1.1 The Keck I and Keck II telescopes are part of the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii. One of the Keck telescopes is visible here in its protective dome.

6 Chapter 1 • The Nature of Science

Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

Geology The study of the materials that make up Earth, the processes that form and change these materials, and the history of the planet and its life-forms since its origin is the branch of Earth science known as geology. Geologists identify rocks, study glacial movements, interpret clues to Earth's 4.6-billion-year history, and determine how forces change our planet.

Oceanography The study of Earth's oceans, which cover nearly three-fourths of the planet, is called oceanography. Oceanographers study the creatures that inhabit salt water, measure different physical and chemical properties of the oceans, and observe various processes in these bodies of water. When oceanographers are conducting field research, they often have to dive into the ocean to gather data, as shown in Figure 1.2.

Environmental science The study of the interactions of organisms and their surroundings is called environmental science. Environmental scientists study how organisms impact the environment both positively and negatively. The topics an environmental scientist might study include natural resources, pollution, alternative energy sources, and the impact of humans on the atmosphere.

Subspecialties The study of our planet is a broad endeavor, and as such, each of the five major areas of Earth science consists of a variety of subspecialties, some of which are listed in Table 1.1.

Figure 1.2 Oceanographers study the life and properties of the ocean. Investigate What kind of training would this Earth scientist need?

Table 1.1

Subspecialties of Earth Science

Interactive Table To explore more about the scope of Earth

Table 1.1

Interactive Table To explore more about the scope of Earth

Major Area of Study

Subspecialty

Subjects Studied

Astronomy

astrophysics

physics of the universe, including the physical properties of objects found in space

planetary science

planets of the solar system and the processes that form them

Meteorology

climatology

patterns of weather over a long period of time

atmospheric chemistry

chemistry of Earth's atmosphere, and the atmospheres of other planets

Geology

paleontology

remains of organisms that once lived on Earth; ancient environments

geochemistry

Earth's composition and the processes that change it

Oceanography

physical oceanography

physical characteristics of oceans, such as salinity, waves, and currents

marine geology

geologic features of the ocean floor, including plate tectonics of the ocean

Environmental science

environmental soil science

interactions between humans and the soil, such as the impact of farming practices; effects of pollution on soil, plants, and groundwater

environmental chemistry

chemical alterations to the environment through pollution and natural means

Section 1 • Earth Science 7

Alexis Rosenfeld/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Section 1 • Earth Science 7

Alexis Rosenfeld/Photo Researchers, Inc.

IFÔldables^

Incorporate information from this section into your Foldable.

Vocabulary

Science usage v. Common usage Crust

Science usage: the thin, rocky, outer layer of Earth

Common usage: the hardened exterior or surface part of bread

Earth's Systems

Scientists who study Earth have identified four main Earth systems: the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Each system is unique, yet each interacts with the others.

Geosphere The area from the surface of Earth down to its center is called the geosphere. The geosphere is divided into three main parts: the crust, mantle, and core. These three parts are illustrated in Figure 1.3.

The rigid outer shell of Earth is called the crust. There are two kinds of crust—continental crust and oceanic crust. Just below the crust is Earth's mantle. The mantle differs from the crust both in composition and behavior. The mantle ranges in temperature from 100°C to 4000°C—much warmer than the temperatures found in Earth's crust. Below the mantle is Earth's core. You will learn more about the crust, mantle, and core in Unit 5.

Atmosphere The blanket of gases that surrounds our planet is called the atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere contains about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. The remaining 1 percent of gases in the atmosphere include water vapor, argon, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases. Earth's atmosphere provides oxygen for living things, protects Earth's inhabitants from harmful radiation from the Sun, and helps to keep the planet at a temperature suitable for life. You will learn more about Earth's atmosphere and how parts of this system interact to produce weather in Unit 4.

Hydrosphere All the water on Earth, including the water in the atmosphere, makes up the hydrosphere. About 97 percent of Earth's water exists as salt water, while the remaining 3 percent is freshwater contained in glaciers, lakes and rivers, and beneath Earth's surface as groundwater. Only a fraction of Earth's total amount of freshwater is in lakes and rivers. You will find out more about Earth's hydrosphere in Units 3, 4, and 7.

Figure 1.3 Earth's geosphere is composed of everything from the crust to the center of Earth. Notice how thin the crust is in relation to the rest of the geosphere's components.

Crust 40 km

Crust 40 km

Figure 1.3 Earth's geosphere is composed of everything from the crust to the center of Earth. Notice how thin the crust is in relation to the rest of the geosphere's components.

Geosphere The Center Crust Mantle Core

Biosphere The biosphere includes all organisms on Earth as well as the environments in which they live. Most organisms live within a few meters of Earth's surface, but some exist deep beneath the ocean's surface, and others live high atop Earth's mountains. All of Earth's life-forms require interaction with at least one of the other systems for their survival.

As illustrated in Figure 1.4, Earth's biosphere, geo-sphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interdependent systems. For example, Earth's present atmosphere formed millions of years ago through interactions with the geo-sphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Organisms in the biosphere, including humans, continue to change the atmosphere through their activities and natural processes. You will explore interactions among Earth's biosphere and other systems in Units 3, 4, 6, and 7.

Technology

The study of science, including Earth science, has led to many discoveries that have been applied to solve society's needs and problems. The application of scientific discoveries is called technology. Technology is transferable, which means that it can be applied to new situations. Freeze-dried foods, ski goggles, and the ultralight materials used to make many pieces of sports equipment were created from technologies used in our space program. Technology is not used only to make life easier. It can also make life safer. Most people have smoke detectors in their houses to help warn them if there is a fire. Smoke detectors were also invented as part of the space program and were adapted for use in everyday life.

Atmosphere

BiosphereJ

Hydrosphere

Figure 1.4 All of Earth's systems are interdependent. Notice how water from the hydrosphere enters the atmosphere, falls on the biosphere, and soaks into the geosphere.

BiosphereJ

Hydrosphere

Geosphere

Geosphere

Figure 1.4 All of Earth's systems are interdependent. Notice how water from the hydrosphere enters the atmosphere, falls on the biosphere, and soaks into the geosphere.

Section 1.1 Assessment

Section Summary

I Earth is divided into four systems: the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

I Earth systems are all interdependent.

I Identifying the interrelationships between Earth systems leads to specialties and subspecialties.

I Technology is important, not only in science, but in everyday life.

I Earth science has contributed to the development of many items used in everyday life.

Understand Main Ideas

1. main<TTflH Explain why it is helpful to identify specialties and subspecialties of Earth science.

2. Apply What are three items you use on a daily basis that have come from research in Earth science?

3. Compare and contrast Earth's geology and geosphere.

4. Hypothesize about human impact on each of Earth's systems.

5. Compare and contrast the hydrosphere and biosphere. Think Critically

6. Predict what would happen if the makeup of the hydrosphere changed. What would happen if the atmosphere changed?

CEZES^Earth Science

7. Research a subspecialty of Earth science. Make a brochure about a career in this field.

Earth ~

Bcfenc^ Self-Check Quiz glencoe.com

Earth ~

Bcfenc^ Self-Check Quiz glencoe.com

Section 1.2

Objectives

I Compare and contrast independent and dependent variables. I Compare and contrast experimentation and investigation. I Identify the differences between mass and weight. I Explain what scientific notation is and how it is used.

Review Vocabulary experiment: procedure performed in a controlled setting to test a hypothesis and collect precise data

New Vocabulary scientific methods hypothesis independent variable dependent variable control

Le Système International d'Unités (SI) scientific notation

■ Figure 1.5 Whether a meteorologist gathers storm data in the field or an environmental scientist analyzes microbial growth in a lab, scientific methods provide an approach to problem-solving and investigation.

Methods of Scientists

IMANScientists use scientific methods to structure their experiments and investigations.

Real-World Reading Link Have you ever seen a distinct rock formation and wondered how it formed? Have you ever wondered why the soil near your home might be different from the soil in your schoolyard? If so, you have already begun to think like a scientist. Scientists often ask questions and make observations to begin their investigations.

The Nature of Scientific Investigations

Scientists work in many different places to gather data. Some work in the field, and some work in a lab, as shown in Figure 1.5. No matter where they work, they all use similar methods to gather data and communicate information. These methods are referred to as scientific methods. As illustrated in Figure 1.6, scientific methods are a series of problem-solving procedures that help scientists conduct experiments.

Whatever problem a scientist chooses to pursue, he or she must gather background information on the topic. Once the problem is defined and the background research is complete, a hypothesis is made. A hypothesis is a testable explanation of a situation that can be supported or disproved by careful procedures.

It is important to note that scientific methods are not rigid, step-by-step outlines to solve problems. Scientists can take many different approaches to performing a scientific investigation. In many scientific investigations, for example, scientists form a new hypothesis after observing unexpected results. A researcher might modify a procedure, or change the control mechanism. And a natural phenomenon might change the direction of the investigation.

■ Figure 1.5 Whether a meteorologist gathers storm data in the field or an environmental scientist analyzes microbial growth in a lab, scientific methods provide an approach to problem-solving and investigation.

William Tewelde

10 Chapter 1 • The Nature of Science

(bl)David Hay Jones/Photo Researchers, Inc., (br)Dwayne Newton/PhotoEdit

10 Chapter 1 • The Nature of Science

(bl)David Hay Jones/Photo Researchers, Inc., (br)Dwayne Newton/PhotoEdit

Visualizing Scientific Methods

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Responses

  • kidane tewelde
    Is the area from earth's suface to its center is the geosphere?
    8 years ago
  • Hiwet
    What are three items you do on a daily basis that have came from research in earth science­?
    8 years ago
  • fatima sandheaver
    What are 3 items you use on a daily basics that have come from research in the earth science?
    8 years ago
  • elvio
    Why is it important to understand specialties and subspecialties of earth science?
    8 years ago
  • mandy
    Why is it helpful to identify specialties and subspecialties of earth science?
    8 years ago
  • TABITHA
    How nature of science can applied to your everyday life?
    8 years ago
  • berhane
    What are three technologies that have come from research in the hydrosphere?
    8 years ago
  • bellisima
    What kind of astronomer who studies the hydrosphere?
    8 years ago
  • Sanna-Leen
    What kind of training would this earth scientist need?
    8 years ago
  • REINO
    What are three items that people use on a daily basis that is reserach from earth science?
    8 years ago
  • wolfgang
    What the geosphere effects?
    8 years ago
  • samlad
    What would be some 3 good items that people use on a daily basis fromresearch in Earth science ?
    8 years ago
  • Ailie Crawford
    What are some items that people use on a daily basis that have come from research in Earth Science?
    8 years ago
  • SEMERE
    How thick is the crust mantle and core?
    7 years ago
  • roderic
    Where is the biosphere located in earth's mantle?
    5 years ago
  • Liisa
    Why is it helpful to indentify specialities and subspecialities of earth science?
    4 years ago
  • Antti Ollila
    Why is it helpful to identify specialties and subspecialities of earth science?
    3 years ago

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