Our Earth the only one planet known to support life.Human interventions cause continuous change in the natural environment.What is nature.How natural environment is altered.Why such alterations go beyond limit and in what ways they affect us.This is an environmental treatise.
Rainforests cover less than 2% of Earth's total surface area but they are home to about half of it's plants and animals.
Arctic Tern performs the largest known annual migration.
Tropical and subtropical rainforests present examples of how a hot ,steady climate promotes remarkable diversity in plant growth.
One in every 113 men,women and children is a refugee.
War and Violence cost global economy 13.6 trillion dollar in 2015 according to the Global Annual Peace Index.Worldwide 65 million people were forced to flee their homes last year.
One of the oldest animals in the world live in the ocean.The oldest 507 year old was an ocean quahog(Ming,scientific name Arctica islandica) found on a seabed near Iceland in 2006.
The oldest tree in the world is 4148 years old Methuselah, a bristle corn pine in California .
The oldest rock fragment in the world is a tiny zircon crystal dating back 4.4 billion years,found in Australia.
The oldest known fossils of cyanobacteria found in rocks in western Australia , belongs to 900 million years back.
The oldest mountain range is the Appalachian Mountains.
Oldest oceanic crust found under the Mediterranean Sea.
The oldest water located 2 miles under Ontario, Canada, in Kidd Mine,the deepest base metal mine in the world.The water here is 2 billion years old.
The oldest human fossil found in Ethiopia in 2013.It was 2.8 million years old.
The Dragonflies are able to determine if an insect is prey or not within 500th of a second.They are able to do this because they can see 300 images per second.
Tiny eel like aquatic critter is known for it's ability to detect approaching storms.
They have swim bladder attuned to changes not only in water pressure but also barometric pressure . They become more active due to changes in barometric pressure .They are known as weather fish.
Whiskers are sensitive and accurate that seals can even hunt while blind folded.Whiskers follow trails of fish swimming up to 600 feet away.
African giant pouched rat has a super-sniffer that we humans use to find out buried land mines.
Specially trained rats can locate land mine with their keen sense of smell and even walk over the land mines without triggering them.They are so efficient that they can 2000 square feet in twenty minutes.It would take a human with a metal detector 4 days to search the same area.
The Penguins have to see well on land to find breeding sites and in water to find food and avoid predators. They are able to do this with the help of a flattened cornea.The flattened cornea refracts light less than a human eye does.Coupled with their eye muscles that allow them to change the shape of the eyes ' lense penguins can focus in and out of water with ease.
Beetles are everywhere.But Jewel Beetles (belonging to Buprestidae family)are different.Their distinct and beautiful colours are notable.They can detect fires up to 7 miles away using infrared receptors.The thoracic infrared organs pick up radiation emitted by forest fires.This is a useful trait since the beetle requires recently burned wood to lay their eggs.
Humans and cats are roughly the same when it comes to hearing things on the lower end of the sound spectrum, cats hear better than we do when it comes to higher pitched sounds.Cats can hear 1.6 octaves higher than us.(one octave above a dog).
Mantis shrimp can detect a range of colours. Because it's eyes have up to 16 photoreceptors .A male is able to know that the female is ready to mate by seeing the biofluorescence. Its wavelength matches that of the detected shrimp's eye pigments.
Dogs are anecdotally considered reliable indicators of Earthquakes.Their keen sense of hearing alerts them to impending temblor. Ancient Greeks have noticed dogs behaving strangely before earthquakes.
Hamsters communicate each other at ultrasonic frequency.The sense of hearing of hams is so good that they are able to hear on the ultrasonic frequency.
People live in forests.300 million people live in forests worldwide. Deforestation kills wildlife,reduces oxygen,damages soil,pollutes atmosphere and finally messes up our world. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth.
The amount of time a Tardigrade(the hardiest animal ) can exist in a vacuum is 10 minutes.
A human being can survive in space unprotected for 2 minutes.
Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957 more than 38000 man-made objects orbited the Earth
Earth is smoother than a bowling ball.High mountains and deep ocean trenches make up only 1/5000th of the earth's circumference.
Currently 22000 man-made objects larger than 10 cm are orbiting the earth.
The value of earth's atmosphere based on the price of CO2 ; 1.3 part per cubic meter is 4.3 quadrillion pounds.
8.6million lightnings strike on a single day.
Salted water on Earth 97% and fresh water 3%
One litre of sea water 13 billionth's of a gram of gold
90 % of rubbish in the world's oceans is plastic.
99% of living space on Earth is represented by oceans.
About one million species live in the world's oceans.Two third are yet to be discovered.
Earth is the only planet in the solar system with plate tectonics.
Without it carbon would not be consumed and recycled, and the earth would overheat just like Venus.
99% of earth's gold lies in its core.It is sufficient to form a 1.5 foot coat around the surface of the earth.
The temperature of the earth's core is as hot as the surface of the sun.(5500 degree celsius)
Earth rotates 1609 kliometers per hour at the equator.
Rare earth elements are not rare.Lutetium , the last abundant areearth element , is nearly 200 times more common in the earth's crust than gold.
A solid iron ball 1500 miles wide sits on the heart of the Earth.Although it is white hot the pressure is so high the iron cannot melt.
The weight of the earth's largest crystals found beneath Mexico's Naica mine .It weighs 55 tonnes.
The age of bacteria fossils found in Australia is longer than earth's atmosphere has had oxygen.(3.5 billion years)
If the earth stopped rotating suddenly and if you are not attached to ground you would fall over for 0.8 kilometer in one second if nothing is on your path.
The coldest temperature recorded, in 1983 at Vostok Station,Antarctica.(-89 degree celsius) or ( minus 128.6 Farenheit)
The continents are moving 2 centimeters every year.
Bee stings are acidic while wasp stings are alkaline.
Copper is the only metal that is naturall antibacterial.
Chalk is made of trillions of microscopic skeleton fossils of plankton.
There is about 13 billionth of a gram of gold in each litre of sea water.
The human body contains enough carbon to provide 'lead ' (which is really graphite) for about 9000 pencils .
Lightning strikes produce ozone (O3) and help strengthen the ozone layer.
20 % of the Oxygen in the atmosphere was produced by the Amazon Rainforest.
One bucket full of water contains more atoms than there are in a bucket full of water in the Atlantic Ocean.
Occuppying less than one quarter of 1% of the marine environment,coral reefs are home to more than 25% of all known marine fish species.
In 2013 worldwide chemical sales were valued at 3.2 trillion Euros.These substances are vital to our modern lives and our economies,but they can also be dangerous.
The chemicals we exploit to assist agricultural production ,develop medicines and produce consumer goods can be dangerous to human health.
Bats not only control pests for a wide variety of crops,cotton,various nuts,and rice,but also pollination for some 300 fruit varieties.The value of bats for their services estimated to Texas farmers is millions of dollars.
humans have harvested1,75,000 tons of gold till 2015.
Species identified so far is 1.5 million.
The radiation hitting the earth is 10,000 times the consumption of energy in the world.
Up to two thirds of the earth's rocky surface is covered by water.It is covered by a mixture of gases called atmosphere reaching 700 kilometers from earth's surface.
Earth spins around it's poles
The spinning earth acts like a magnet.
The different parts of the earth are - the thin rocky crust- the solid middle mantle- a central core.Outer part of core is liquid.Inner core solid metal.
The inner core is made mainly of iron and nickel.The temperature at the core is 6000 degree Celsius, hot enough to melt metals.The core is 2500 kilometers wide.
Around the centre flows a hot liquid layer of iron and nickel.This is the outer core,2200 metre thick.
As the earth spins the metal ball and liquid layer move at different speeds.Due to extreme pressure in the intensely hot inner core is solid.
The largest part of eartth's layer is called mantle which is 2900 kms thick. It is made of slow moving rock.
Rocks in the upper mantle is comparable to the paste oozing out of the tooth paste tube when you squeeze it.
Earth's surface is covered by crust.
Land is made up of continental crust which is 20 kilometers to 70 kilometers thick.
Most of the crust is made of granite.
Ocean bed is made up of 8 kilometer thick oceanic crust.It is mainly made of a rock called basalt.
The crust is divided into huge slabs of rock called plates.Most plates have land and seas on top of them.
Pacific plate is mostly covered by water.
Areas of land on the plates are called continents.
Africa,Asia,Europe,North America,South America,Oceania,and Antarctica are the 7 continents.
Very,very slowly ,the continents are moving.
As plates move so do the continents.In some places plates push into each other.
The continents are moving very very slowly.As plates move so do the continents.
In some places plates push into each other.At times they move apart.North America is moving 3 cms away from Europe every year.
There are places on earth, where hot,liquid rocks shootup through it's surface.There are volcanoes.The huge space beneath a volcano filled with molten rock is called Magma chamber.
As pressure builds up inside the chamber ash,steam,and molten rock(lava) erupts to the surface.
Volcanoes erupt in different ways and have different shapes.Volcanoes like those in Hawai have running lava.Others have thick lava.
There are volcanoes under the sea.The hot lava cooled quickly by the sea forms pillow shaped lumps called pillow lava.
The hot rocks don't always reach the surface.Huge lumps become struck.These are called batholiths.
Rocks cool slowly forming large crystals called granite.
A geyser can be found on the top of some old volcanoes.If these volcanoes collapse the gaps between the broken rocks make a group of pipes and chambers.Rain water seeps in ,collecting in the chamber where it is heated untill it boils.
Steam builds up, pushing the water through the pipes and out of a cone shaped opening called nozzle.Steam and water shoot through the nozzle, making a fountain up to 60 meters high.
There are springs in the ocean.They are called black smokers.
They form near rift volcanoes.Here water is heated by volcanoes' magma chambers.The hot water dissolves chemicals in the rocks, which turn black when they are cooled by surrounding clean water.They rise like clouds of smoke from chimneys.
Geysers are common in the volcanic regions of New Zealand in Oceania.In some areas they are even used to help make electricity. In a hot spring, the water bubbles gently into the surface. Wallowing in a mud spot can make your skin soft and smooth.Mud pot is made when fumes break down rocks into tiny pieces.These mix with water to form mud making it bubble .Some mud pots are cool enough to wallow in. rocks being broken down by ice Ice has the power to make rocks crumble.In cold weather rainwater gets into cracks in rocks and freezes.Water swells as it turns into ice.The ice pushes with such power that the rock opens up the rock.Over a long time a rock can be broken down to thousands of tiny pieces.
Living things can break down rocks.Seeds landed on rocks grows and it"s roots smash open the rock.Tiny living things called lichens dissolve the surface of rocks to reach minerals they need to live.Rabbits make burrows which break up some of the rock in the ground. Warming up and cooling down can break rocks into flakes.
when a rock warms up it swells a little.when it cools the rock shrink back to it"s original size.
repeated swelling and shrinking cause some rocks to break up into flakes.Sometimes layers of flakes form on a rock and make it look like onion skin.
Glaciers break up rocks and carry them away.They slide away down mountainside and melt.As glacier moves,some rocks are snapped off and carried along.
Rocks in rivers and seas are always getting smaller.As the water flows it gradually wears the rock down.Water also dissolves minerals from the rock.Sand and grit slowly grind away the rock surfaces.
The speed at which forests are being cut down worldwide is slowing down from 8.3 million hectares a year in 1990 - 2000 to 5.2 million in the past decade(2001- 2010). Forests help us to breathe.They pump out oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.One adult leafy tree can produce as much oxygen as 10 people inhale in a year.Plankton are more prolific ,providing half of earth's oxygen .But forests are key source of breathable air. Half of all known species live in forests.This includes 80% of biodiversity on land.Bugs and worms' works provide nutrients into the soil.Bees and birds spread pollen and seeds.Keystone species like wolves and big bats keep hungry herbivores in check.
TODAY(OCTOBER 16) IS WORLD FOOD DAY The global message for World Food Day 2016 is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
It resonates with the crucial time in which the day will be observed, just before the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP 22, from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. One third of food produced world over is wasted.More than 2 billion are living without food.