Cosma Home > Communication > Knowledge > Realm > Terrestrial > Sphere




Terrestrial (Earth)
Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air, Life (Cell, Gene, Microscope)
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate 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


These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



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


What is geoscience? (American Geosciences Institute)


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)

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)







Nature Geoscience - Issue - nature.com science feeds Each month, Nature Geoscience will bring you top-quality research papers, reviews and opinion pieces - in print and online.

  • Author Correction: Persistent organic matter in...
    by Emily R. Estes on July 16, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Geoscience, Published online: 16 July 2019; doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0423-6Author Correction: Persistent organic matter in oxic subseafloor sediment […]

  • Carbon stocks in central African forests enhanced...
    by Fabio Berzaghi on July 15, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Geoscience, Published online: 15 July 2019; doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0395-6Elephant disturbance favours the emergence of larger trees with higher wood density, and thereby increases the aboveground biomass in central African forests by up to 60 t ha–1, according to simulations with the Ecosystem Demography model. […]

  • Plateaus from seafloor spreading
    by Joanne M. Whittaker on July 8, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Geoscience, Published online: 08 July 2019; doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0416-5Ocean-floor plateaus are not voluminous lava flows from central volcanoes as thought, but anomalously thick oceanic crust, suggest magnetic anomaly patterns from the Shatsky Rise, in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. […]

  • Common cause for severe droughts in South America...
    by Regina R. Rodrigues on July 8, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Geoscience, Published online: 08 July 2019; doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0393-8Droughts in South America and marine heatwaves in the South Atlantic have a common remote cause, convection in the tropical oceans that triggers atmospheric blocking, suggest analyses of observations. […]

  • Decadal predictability of late winter...
    by Isla R. Simpson on July 8, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Geoscience, Published online: 08 July 2019; doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0391-xDecadal averages of March precipitation in western Europe can be predicted by exploiting links with the jet stream and ocean along with skilful predictions of sea surface temperatures, according to an analysis of observations and reanalysis products. […]

EARTH RSS Keep up with the Latest Publications from EARTH Magazine

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Folding faults and seismic risk in the Kunlun...
    on April 18, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    The tectonic deformation and growth pattern of the western Kunlun, which is the northwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, are not currently well understood. The surface rupture caused by an earthquake can provide a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of coseismic faulting on landscape evolution, to refine regional deformation models, and to understand future seismic risk. […]

  • Leveraging scientists' perceptions for successful...
    on April 15, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Creating new policies that deal with important issues like climate change requires input from geoscientists. Policy makers, media outlets, and the general public are interested in hearing from experts, and scientists are put under increasing amounts of pressure to effectively engage in policy decisions. […]

  • Underwater surveys in Emerald Bay reveal the...
    on March 19, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Emerald Bay, California, a beautiful location on the southwestern shore of Lake Tahoe, is surrounded by rugged landscape, including rocky cliffs and remnants of mountain glaciers. Scenic as it may be, the area is also a complex structural puzzle. Understanding the history of fault movement in the Lake Tahoe basin is important to assessing earthquake hazards for regional policy planners. […]

  • Researchers find new way to estimate magma...
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Researchers at Washington State University and the University of Idaho have found a new way to estimate how fast magma is recharging beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano. While their findings offer no help in predicting if the volcano will erupt, they can now get a better understanding of a key factor—a pool of basalt magma recharging the system—in how it works. […]

  • Spatial skills higher among those who played with...
    on February 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Childhood play experiences strongly shape a person's spatial skills, according to a new CIRES-led study—those skills can be critical to success in fields like science and engineering. Young adults who played with construction-based toys such as Legos, or with certain types of video games outperformed other peers in tests of spatial reasoning—like the skill needed to mentally rotate objects. And most notably, the new research found that gender differences in spatial skills disappear […]