When you think of “Earth Science”, one would naturally assume that it means scientific data that involves only the planet Earth. That assumption would be wrong. There are four Earth Sciences:
Geology – the science of the Earth. Geology deals with the earth’s physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it. “Geologist” always conjured the image of a rock hunter for me. I find it fascinating that this branch of science has a specialist called a volcanologist. Those are the scientists who brave the high temperatures and molten lava of volcanoes.
Meteorology – the science of the Atmosphere. Concerns the processes and phenomena of the atmosphere, especially as a means of forecasting the weather. This branch of science is sometimes called climatology. A meteorologist does not study meteors, of course. They study storm patterns, winds, clouds, hurricanes, tornadoes and more.
Oceanography – the science of the Oceans. Deals with the oceans and includes the delimitation of their extent and depth, the physics and chemistry of their waters, marine biology, and the exploitation of their resources. 70% of the Earth is covered by water, the study of that water is an important feature in this collection.
Astronomy – the science of the Universe. Is the study of objects and matter outside the earth’s atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties. The first three I was able to get right away, because are dealing with (or have an effect on) the planet Earth. Astronomy threw me a little. However, astronomy deals with the moon and the moon is what drives the ocean’s tidal system. Asteroids have previously had an impact on Earth (pun intended).
As a country, many of us are hyper-aware of our planet, its resources and the human effect on our ecosystem. Because I like to be able to have intelligent conversations regarding these matters, I found it important to read up on the Earth Sciences so I could relate these conversations to how it personally affects me.
If there are articles you find interesting that are about Earth Sciences, please let me know in the comments below.
Original picture location: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/earth-sciences/images/gallery-home/lamporangeucl.JPG