Natural Resources - NCERT Guide Science Class 9
The multilayer gaseous envelope (or blanket) surrounding the planet earth is called atmosphere. Atmosphere filters sunlight, reaching the earth affect climate and is a reservoir of several elements which are essential for life. Oxygen, nitrogen, water vapour etc. present in the atmosphere are required by most living beings for their survival. The atmosphere prevents sudden increase in temperature during daylight. It also slows down the escape of heat thus, keeps the average temperature of the earth fairly steady.The ozone layer of the atmosphere saves the living forms from the harmful effects of ultra- violet rays.
Organisms need water because it plays a vital role in the reaction taking place within organism’s cells and body. Water acts as a universal solvent, providing a medium for the chemical reactions to occur. Substances are alsotransported from one part of body to the other in the dissolved state. Therefore, it is necessary for the organisms to maintain a distinct level of water within their bodies to stay alive.
The top surface layer of earth capable of supporting plant life is called soil. Soil is a complex mixture, comprising of minerals (45%), organic matter (5%), water (25%), air (25%) and living organisms. It is an important resource that determines the diversity of life in an area. Plants are dependent on the soil from where they obtain various types of minerals, water and air. All these three components are essential for the growth of plants. Animals (herbivores) depend on plants for food. Other animals (carnivores) depend on these herbivores. Hence, all living organisms directly or indirectly depend on the soil.
Aquatic organisms are not entirely independent of soil as a resource. Microscopic decomposers (e.g. fungi, archaebacteria and bacteria) present in the bottom sediments of water bodies decompose dead, decaying organic matter into simple, inorganic substances(minerals). The latter get dissolved in water and are available as nutrients for aquatic plants and they indirectly through plants to animals. Also, water bodies get supply of minerals from soil through rivers, spring etc. without which minerals present in the water bodies will exhaust. Aquatic green plants and animals get these minerals from water.
We daily see weather reports on television and news papers. This information about the weather is recorded by meteorological laboratories present in different parts of the country. Information such as direction and speed of wind, average daily minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity, patterns of cloud formation, depression zones over an area, etc. are recorded with the help of instruments and are then displayed on televisions, published in news papers or broadcasted on the radio. This meteorological information helps us to predict the weather and to act accordingly. For example a farmer can decide his next step for agriculture according to latest weather report and may be benefitted.
We have studied that many human activities lead to increase in the levels of pollution of the air, water bodies and soil. Isolating such activities to specific and limited areas may help in reducing only soil pollution. However, air and water pollution can not be checked. Moreover, air, water and soil are naturally inter-related resources. They do not remain confined to specific areas after pollution. For instance, air pollution brings about global environmental changes such as,
Forest is a large area covered thickly with trees and other plants such as, shrubs and grasses. Forest is a renewable natural resource. Forests influence the air, water and soil resources in following ways: