2.The natural environment
The natural environment is everything that is found naturally on the earth, such as the air,water, the land and the plants and trees. The natural environment is very important for our survival.
All plants and animals are dependent on water for their survival.Water covers three-quarters (75%) of the surface of the earth. So it seems that we have plentyof water for all the people, plants and animals, and that we will never run out of this resource.But, in reality, we do not have plenty of water. 97% of all the earth’s water is found in theoceans, as salt water. Humans and animals cannot drink salt water, and most plants cannotgrow in salt water. Another 2% of the world’s water is frozen – it makes up the ice of glaciersand ice-caps. That leaves 1% of the earth’s water which we can use.The water that we use is found in lakes and rivers (
) or stored beneath theground (
The atmosphere is the layer that surrounds the surface of the earth. It is about two miles thick.The atmosphere is important for our survival. It provides us with the air that all plants andanimals need. We need the oxygen in the air for respiration; plants need the carbon dioxide inthe air for photosynthesis. The air contains hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, plus smallamounts of other gases.The atmosphere also includes the ozone layer, which protects us from the harmful ultra-violetrays that come from the sun.
Trees and Plants
The trees and plants are very important to the natural environment of the earth. One of thethings they do is change carbon dioxide to oxygen (
). If they did not do this,we would not have the oxygen we need to survive. If too many of the trees in the world weredestroyed, there wouldn’t be enough oxygen for us to breathe, and we would die.Trees are also important for holding down soil, stopping it from being washed or blown away by the rain or wind. In this way, trees prevent
The land is very important for our survival. We need the land to grow crops for food. Also the plants that grow on the land provide food for many of the animals that live on the earth. If thesoil on the land is
it can grow many plants and crops.Unfortunately, if the land is not used carefully, or if it is over used, it is no longer able togrow crops (it becomes
).The soil in rainforests is very fertile. This is because all the trees and plants in the rainforest provide nutrients to the soil. But if the rainforest is cut down, the soil quickly becomesinfertile.