All forms of life and the three environmental matrices of atmosphere, soils, and oceans form a closely integrated network that can be called the “biosphere.” Thus the biosphere is the system with four main internal, interacting components: air, water, soil, and life. Considering this system, what makes the biosphere dynamically distinct from other layers of Earth, such as lithosphere, mantle, or core, is undoubtedly the presence and influence of life.

This essay may be found on page 32 of the printed volume.

Works Cited
Permanent Link to this Essay