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How is our atmosphere different from the atmospheres on Venus and Mars?
Earth's atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen (79%), oxygen (20%), and a small fraction of carbon dioxide, water vapors and other gases. This makes the existence of life possible on Earth. However, the atmospheres on Venus and Mars mainly consist of carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide on these planets can range from 95% to 97%.
How does the atmosphere act as a blanket?
The atmosphere acts as a blanket by performing the following functions:
1) It keeps the average temperature of the Earth fairly constant during day time and even during the course of whole year.
2) It prevents a sudden increase in the temperature during day time.
3) It slows down the escape of heat from the surface of the Earth into outer space during night time.
What causes winds?
Winds are created because of the uneven heating of the Earth's surface c. On being heated, air becomes lighter and rises up. As a result, a region of low pressure is created. Then, air from a high pressure region moves to a low pressure region, causing wind.
How are clouds formed?
During day time, on being heated, a large amount of water evaporates from various water bodies and goes into the air. A part of this water vapour also reaches the atmosphere through biological activities such as transpiration and respiration. This causes the air in the atmosphere to heat up. When this heated air rises, it expands and cools, which results in the condensation of water vapour forming water droplets. The presence of dust and other suspended particles in air also facilitates the process of condensation. The formation of water droplets leads to the formation of clouds.
List any three human activities that you think would lead to air pollution.
Three human activities leading to air pollution are:
1) Smoke from industries etc
2) Burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum
Why do organisms need water?
The organisms need water:
1) For different cellular process.
2) For transportation of substance from one place to another inside the body.
What is the major source of fresh water in the city/town/village where you live?
Do you know of any activity which may be polluting this water source?
The discharge of waste water from homes, industries, hospitals, etc. into the river pollutes this fresh water source.
How is soil formed?
Soil is formed by breaking down of rocks at or near the surface of the Earth through various physical, chemical, and biological processes by various factors such as the sun, water, wind, and living organisms.
During day time, the rocks are heated up by solar rays. This causes the rocks to expand. During night time, these rocks cool down and contracts. Since all parts of the rocks do not undergo expansion and contraction at the same rate, the cracks develop in the rock and they break down.
It helps in breaking of rocks in two ways:
(i) It goes into the cracks and crevices formed in the rocks. When this water freezes, its volume increases. As a result, the size of the cracks also increases. This helps in the weathering of rocks.
(ii) Water moving in fast speed carries big and small particles of rock downstream. These rocks rub against each other, resulting in breaking down of rocks. These smaller particles are carried away by running water and deposited down its path.
Strong winds carry away rocks, which causes rubbing of rocks. This results in the breaking down of rocks into smaller and smaller particles.
Some living organisms like lichens help in the formation of soil. Lichens grow on rock surfaces and converts them into powdery form and make soil layer. In the same way, the plants like moss also help in the making of fine soil particles.
What is soil erosion?
The blowing away or washing away of land surface by wind or water is known as soil erosion.
What are the methods of preventing or reducing soil erosion?
The methods of preventing or reducing soil erosion are:
1) Plantation of trees and plants
2) Prevention of deforestation
What are the different states in which water is found during the water cycle?
Water is found in three different states during the water cycle
Solid (Snow, Ice)
Liquid Water (ground water, river water, etc.)
Gaseous State (Water vapors)
Name two biologically important compounds that contain both oxygen and nitrogen.
Two biologically important compounds that contain both oxygen and nitrogen are:
(i) Amino acids
(ii) Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
List any three human activities which would lead to an increase in the carbon dioxide content of air.
Three Human activities are:
1) Burning of fuels in various processes like heating, cooking, transportation, and industry.
2) Human induced forest fires
3) The process of deforestation includes the cutting down of trees. This decreases the uptake of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Eventually, the content of carbon dioxide increases.
What is the greenhouse effect?
Some gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide prevents the escape of heat from the Earth's surface by trapping it. This increases the average temperature of the Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect.
What are the two forms of oxygen found in the atmosphere?
The two forms of oxygen found in the atmosphere are:
1) Diatomic molecular form with chemical formula O2
2) Triatomic molecular form with chemical formula O3
known as ozone.
Why is the atmosphere essential for life?
The atmosphere is essential for life because it maintains an appropriate climate for the sustenance of life by carrying out the following activities:
1) Atmosphere keeps the average temperature of the Earth fairly constant during day time.
2) It prevents a sudden increase in temperature during day time.
3) It also slows down the escape of heat from the surface of the Earth into outer space during night time.
Why is water essential for life?
Water is essential for life because of the following reasons:
1) Most biological reactions occur when substances are dissolved in water. Thus, all cellular processes need water as a medium to take place.
2) Transportation of biological substances needs water as a medium.
How are living organism’s dependent on the soil? Are organisms that live in water totally independent of soil as a resource?
-Almost all living organisms are dependent on soil. Some depend directly, while some depend indirectly.
-Plants need soil for getting support as well as nutrients to prepare their food.
-organisms depend on plants for food and other substances that are essential for life.
-Herbivores depend directly upon plants, and carnivores depend upon animals, which in turn depend upon plants for food. This makes them depend on soil indirectly.
-Organisms that live in water are not totally independent of soil as a resource. These organisms depend on aquatic plants for food and other substances. These aquatic plants in turn require minerals for their sustenance. These minerals are carried to water bodies from soil by rivers, rain water, etc.
-Without the supply of minerals from the soil to the water bodies, it is impossible to imagine aquatic life.
You have seen weather reports on television and in newspapers. How do you think we are able to predict the weather?
The meteorological department of the government collects data on the elements of weather such as maximum and minimum temperatures, maximum and minimum humidity, rainfall, wind speed, etc. They are able to study these elements using various instruments. The maximum and minimum temperature of a day is measured by a thermometer known as the maximum-minimum thermometer. Rain fall is measured by an instrument known as the rain gauge. Wind speed is measured by anemometers. There are various instruments used to measure humidity.
Write a note on how forests influence the quality of our air, soil and water resources.
Forests are important for our existence and the influence the quality of our air, soil, and water resources in various ways. Some of them are
1) Forests balance the percentages of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. The increasing amount of carbon dioxide caused by human activities is balanced by a larger intake of carbon dioxide by plants during the process of photosynthesis. Simultaneously, a large amount of oxygen is released.
2) Forests prevent soil erosion. Roots of plants bind the soil tightly in a way that the surface of the soil cannot be eroded away by wind, water, etc.
3) Forests help in the replenishment of water resources. During the process of transpiration, a huge amount of water vapour goes into the air and condenses to form clouds. These clouds cause rainfall that recharge water bodies.
We know that many human activities lead to increasing levels of pollution of the air, water-bodies and soil. Do you think that isolating these activities to specific and limited areas would help in reducing pollution?
Yes. Isolating human activities to specific areas would help in reducing levels of pollution. For example, setting up of industries in isolated regions will control pollution to some extent. The pollution caused by these industries will not contaminate water resources, agriculture land, fertile land, etc.
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