Outer shell of the Earth, the lithosphere consists mostly of igneous, organogenic and sedimentary rocks (in Greek lithos means rock). It is made up of the Earth’s crust and the outer portion of the upper mantle, covering the whole terrestrial surface (continental lithosphere) and the ocean floors (oceanic lithosphere).
Literally “water sphere”, the hydrosphere is the water present on Earth (in Greek hydros means water). It includes water underground and on the surface, in the form of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and icecaps.
The atmosphere is the gaseous layer surrounding our planet (in Greek atmos means vapor). It consists of various gases, including oxygen and nitrogen, elements essential for life. The atmosphere protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation and from the impact of meteorites which disintegrate when colliding with its upper layers.
The biosphere consists of the areas on Earth where environmental conditions allow life to develop (in Greek bios means life). These areas include the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and the first layers of the atmosphere, up to an altitude of about 10 kilometers.
Sphere of thought (in Greek nous is the act of the human intellect). The noosphere refers to that feature typical of the human person that is the act of thought, a unique character of self- humanization. In it all types of rationality find place, including scientific and philosophical rationality.
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