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Geosphere may be taken as the collective name for the lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.

In Aristotelian physics, the term was applied to four spherical natural places, concentrically nested around the center of the Earth, as described in the lectures Physica and Meteorologica. They were believed to explain the motions of the four terrestrial elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

In modern texts and in Earth system science, geosphere refers to the solid parts of the Earth; it is used along with atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere to describe the systems of the Earth (the interaction of these systems with the magnetosphere is sometimes listed). In that context, the term lithosphere is used instead of geosphere or solid Earth. The lithosphere only refers to the uppermost layers of the solid Earth (oceanic and continental crustal rocks and uppermost mantle). — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica




Earth science or geoscience is a widely embraced term for the fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. It is the branch of science dealing with the physical constitution of the earth and its atmosphere. Earth science is the study of our planet’s physical characteristics, from earthquakes to raindrops, and floods to fossils. Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history.

There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences. It is also the study of the Earth and its neighbors in space. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the Earth to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth’s environment, and design methods to protect the planet. Some use their knowledge about Earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to plan communities that will not expose people to these dangerous events.

The Earth sciences can include the study of geology, the lithosphere, and the large-scale structure of the Earth’s interior, as well as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere. Typically, Earth scientists use tools from geography, chronology, physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics to build a quantitative understanding of how the Earth works and evolves. — Wikipedia

Geoscience Center (Martindale’s Reference Desk)
What is geoscience? (American Geosciences Institute)

Earth system science (ESS) is the application of systems science to the Earth sciences. In particular, it considers interactions between the Earth’s “spheres”—atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, and, even, the magnetosphere —as well as the impact of human societies on these components. At its broadest scale, Earth system science brings together researchers across both the natural and social sciences, from fields including ecology, economics, geology, glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, sociology, and space science. Like the broader subject of systems science, Earth system science assumes a holistic view of the dynamic interaction between the Earth’s spheres and their many constituent subsystems, the resulting organization and time evolution of these systems, and their stability or instability. Subsets of Earth system science include systems geology and systems ecology, and many aspects of Earth system science are fundamental to the subjects of physical geography and climate science.[18] — Wikipedia




Earth Sciences History Journal (The History of Earth Sciences Society)
The History of Earth Sciences Society


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Official Site)
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Wikipedia)


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library




Science on a Sphere (NOAA)
Science on a Sphere Datasets (NOAA)
Science on a Sphere (YouTube Playlists, NOAA)
Science on a Sphere (Wikipedia)

Earth System Science in a Nutshell (Martin Ruzek, Universities Space Research Association)


Crash Course Astronomy (YouTube)
Crash Course Kids Earth Science: Earth’s Spheres and Natural Resources

Earth System Science 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (UC Irvine OpenCourseWare, YouTube)
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Geoscience Careers (American Geosciences Institute)


American Geosciences Institute


Nature Geoscience

Earth Magazine (American Geosciences Institute)




Earth Observatory (NASA)
NASA Earth Observatory (Wikipedia)
NASA Earth Science

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)







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Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm


Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Life Cell, Gene, Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Cuttlefish, Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human


1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.