Earth Science, which is the study of both Earth and its planetary neighbors, is not one of the most popular sciences. Few people know what Earth science is, and even less understand how it works in our world today.
Even so, there is no doubt the study of Earth is incredibly important for a range of different fields, ranging from fuel production and the gathering of resources to environmentalism and disaster planning.
To give you a better understanding of those uses, we will break down the different Earth science fields and discuss what makes them so unique.
The Study of Our Planet
Earth science is a branch of science that covers any science dealing with the physical makeup of both Earth and its atmosphere. That means anything that has to do with planets or geological formations falls into this field.
For that reason, the science has a range of different interesting and exciting applications. Some Earth scientists try and develop energy or locate minerals, while others look at how human activity affects our world.
There are also fields that use the knowledge of planetary formation to analyze volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
Geology and Meteorology
There are four distinct Earth sciences, and you cannot understand the field as a whole without knowing each of them.
The first is geology. This is the most well-known field, and the one that directly ties into the study of the Earth’s mechanisms. Simply put, geologists look at everything that has to do with our planet. That includes taking science pictures of and analyzing the Earth to understand its materials, structures, and processes.
In addition, geology is also focused on all organisms on our planet as well as the way the world has shifted over time.
This often causes geologists to move into other fields, such as the study of natural hazards, or efforts to protect the environment. In this way, geology is one of the broadest and furthest-reaching Earth sciences.
The next Earth science is meteorology. This covers both the study of the atmosphere as well as how certain natural atmospheric processes determine the Earth’s weather and climate. Meteorologists seek to understand shifting patterns in Earth’s weather. As a result, the branch is incredibly relevant to both climate change and global warming.
Studying this field is critical to understanding our planet’s shifting environment, and can help show how humans have altered the Earth over time.
Oceanography and Astronomy
The other two types of Earth science are oceanography and astronomy. Oceanography, as you can imagine, is all about the world’s oceans. This includes the way they move, their composition, their processes, and the organisms that call them home.
Oceans cover most of our planet. As a result, it is vital to understand the way they work. Not only do they create key ecosystems, but they also influence weather and can drive climate change.
Oceanographers both work to protect the ocean and develop it as a resource. The goal is to utilize the large bodies of water while minimizing any negative effects humans have had on them.
The final Earth science, astronomy, does not focus directly on Earth like the others. Rather, it branches out and look at the universe as a whole. That may seem strange, but it makes sense because studying other planets can give scientists a much better idea of how Earth first came to be. Such research can also provide insight into the inner mechanisms of our world and better understand how it fits into the universe as a whole.
Astronomy also focuses on how different celestial phenomena affect our planet. For instance, the moon drives the ocean tides, asteroid impacts have greatly altered Earth’s surface, and the sun influences the weather. In this way, while astronomy does not focus on the Earth itself, understanding our planet would not be possible without it.
Using Earth Science to Protect Our World
Earth science is incredibly important. We currently live in an age that is rife with environmental challenges, and all of the above branches help researchers better understand such issues.
Though there is no telling how climate change will affect our world, but there is no doubt that Earth scientists will be the ones to combat it. Not only will they prevent serious threats like volcanoes and floods, but they will protect people from them when they occur.
A Necessary Field for Society’s Future
A deep and thorough understanding of our planet is key to furthering modern society. It is not easy to come up with a single Earth science definition, but this article outlines the four branches that make the field what it is.
“What is Earth science?” is a common question, especially with all the talk of global warming, and now you have the knowledge to be able to answer it.