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What is Our Environment?

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The basic meaning that the word environment conveys is surroundings. Whatever we see in our surroundings is a part of our environment and contributes to its formation. Environmental science is a budding aspect of science and higher studies that deals with the study of interactions between different species of flora and fauna that exist in nature. The flora comprises all the species of plant life found on the earth whereas fauna consists of all the animal species you'd see in your surroundings. Together, flora and fauna make our environment. 

What is Natural Environment? 

The natural environment comprises all the living and nonliving things that occur naturally In the environment. Natural in this context means "anything that isn't man-made or artificial". The basic sense that the term natural environment conveys is "anything related to the earth", anything which occurs in nature without any manufacturing process in a factory! 

What is Our Natural Environment Made of? 

As iterated earlier, the natural environment includes any component which occurs naturally in the environment without any processing by humans. Our natural environment consists of:

  • All the ecological units of an ecosystem. All these units have been unaffected by human civilization and its advancement. This includes all the species of bizarre animals found in nooks and corners of the earth and any vegetation that grows in any part of the world. Any living organisms including even the smallest microorganism found in any part of the world. 

  • The other component of the environment is the non-living component. This includes every single non-living component that exists naturally in nature. Like the stones, water, air. Anything non-living has existed in the same state for a long time and continues to occur in nature.

Natural Environment Examples 

Still, confused about what the natural environment exactly is? Well, here's a list of natural environment elements, this will give you a better idea about. The given list includes objects you see in your surroundings every day, all these objects are an integral part of our natural environment.

  • Human beings 

  • Plants in a garden 

  • The little insects in nature 

  • Trees 

  • Stones

  • The air around you

The examples given above are a few examples of the parts of our natural environment. 

Types of Natural Environment

Our natural environment could further be divided into domains. These domains are 

  • Lithosphere

  • Atmosphere

  • Biosphere

  • Hydrosphere

All these domains together make up the environment. 

The lithosphere consists of the earth's crust. All the rocks, different layers of soil, and minerals found in the earth's crust are a part of the lithosphere. This domain facilitates the lives of forests and trees, and hence they're interdependent. 

The hydrosphere is the domain that comprises water bodies. Hydra means water in Latin. Hydrosphere hence includes all the forms of water bodies you can find on earth. The rivers, lakes, oceans, seas, and ponds. All of them come under the hydrosphere. 

The Atmosphere refers to the thin blanket of air that surrounds our planet. This thin blanket of air is held together by the gravitational force and is responsible for protecting us from harmful UV radiation. The atmosphere holds several gases in a specific ratio. Few of the major gases found in the atmosphere are oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. 

The biosphere refers to all the living organisms found on mother earth. Ranging from tiny insects to the giant blue whale, all of these are a part of the biosphere. The biosphere is dependent on all the other domains since no organism on earth can survive without air, water, or soil. Hence, these domains are interdependent. 

What is a Manmade Environment? 

Man-made, the word is self-explanatory. Man-made means anything which is produced due to human kind's efforts. Anything which isn't found in the surroundings naturally is termed as man-made. The world, in which all of us live is a blend of both the natural environment and the man-made environment. 

Examples of Artificial Environment

When you look around yourself, you'd find various objects in your home. Objects have been made out of naturally existing objects but human beings modified these objects according to their convenience. For instance, consider a door. A door is generally made out of wood. Wood comes from trees which are a part of the biosphere, however, human beings have modified the wood and transformed it into a door. This is how the artificial or man-made environment came into being. Given below are a few other man-made environment examples that would help you to get a better understanding. 

Our man-made environment consists of electronic elements. If you look around the house, you will find several electronic devices such as a television, fan, air conditioner, to name a few. All these electronic devices are made by human beings to make our lives more convenient. Electricity is the basic source for all these electronic devices and the electricity is produced by natural sources like wind, coal, solar. Hence artificial or man-made environment is derived from the natural environment to improve the quality of our life. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is an Example of an Artificial Ecosystem? 

An ecosystem is a mini system that is self-sufficient and can support life. An ecosystem mustn't need any external resources to support life. Earth itself is an ecosystem, however, it is a natural ecosystem, since it exists naturally and does not need any external agents to support life on earth. An excellent example of an artificial ecosystem would be an aquarium. Man makes an aquarium, it has water and its own oxygen suppliers, the man-made ecosystem is good enough to support the life of a fish and hence could be considered as a man-made ecosystem.

2. What's the difference between an Artificial Environment and a Natural Environment? 

As iterated earlier, the major difference between a natural environment and an artificial one is that the elements of a natural environment are found in nature in the same state for years and belong to either of the domains discussed earlier. Whereas an artificial environment is man-made, human beings pick up raw materials from nature and improvise them, mold them according to their convenience and use it in daily life this contributes to the formation of an artificial environment.