In this section, we explore the Earth as a system of various stocks and flows of matter and energy.
In the first part, we learn how the Earth system is usually thought of in terms of different spheres: the atmosphere, the biosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and the cryosphere. In addition to these traditional elements, there is nowadays also talk of the anthroposphere, i.e. human constructions and their impact on the Earth system. Energy and matter move between these spheres and determine the functioning of the whole Earth system.
In the second part, we will explore Earth science and how the results of this research are being used in international cooperation to address the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. In the third part, we learn about planetary boundaries and the research behind them.
In the fourth and final part, we look at the Earth's 'deep history' over hundreds of millions of years and see how conditions on Earth have changed over time. It is important to understand that life has fundamentally influenced the current conditions on Earth and that the Earth system has undergone major upheavals throughout history. Humans will inevitably play a major role in this long continuum of history.
This third section is divided into four chapters, each of which you will find in its own tab.
At the end of the section, you will be able to test your knowledge in a multiple-choice exam. Please note that the exam contains statements covering the whole section, so study the whole of the first section 3.1 to 3.4 and then answer the exam questions.
Finally, after studying this third section you can test your competence with the exam. The exam is below.
Take the exam in order to pass the third section of the course. The statements in the exam are either true or false. Which one is the right answer?
Just answer the questions, and after you have finished your exam and completed it you will get your test result. You need 8 out of 12 questions to be right to pass the exam. You will get the results and feedback right after finishing the exam.
You will be able to try again until you pass the exam.