- Environment literally means surrounding and everything that affects an organism during its lifetime is collectively known as its environment.
- In other words “Environment is sum total of water, air and land interrelationships among themselves and also with the human being, other living organisms and property”.
- It includes all the physical and biological surroundings and their interactions. Environmental studies provide an approach towards understanding the environment of our planet and the impact of human life upon the environment.
- Thus the environment is actually global in nature, it is a multidisciplinary subject including physics, geology, geography, history, economics, physiology, biotechnology, remote sensing, geophysics, soil science and hydrology etc.
Environmental science is a multidisciplinary science whose basic aspects have a direct relevance to every section of the society. Its main aspects are:
- Conservation of nature and natural resources.
- Conservation of biological diversity.
- Control of environmental pollution.
- Stabilization of human population and environment
- Social issues in relation to development and environment.
- Development of a non-polluting renewable energy system and providing a new dimension to the nation’s security.
- Environment belongs to all living beings and thus is important for all. Each one is affected by environmental issues like global warming, depletion of ozone layer, dwindling forest, energy resources, loss of global biodiversity etc.
- Environment study deals with the analysis of the processes in water, air, land, soil and organisms which lead to pollute or degrade the environment. It helps us to establish a standard for a safe, clean and healthy natural ecosystem.
- It also deals with important issues like safe and clean drinking water, hygienic living conditions and clean and fresh air, fertility of land, healthy food and development.
- Sustainable environmental law, environmental protection, management and environmental engineering are emerging as dimensions in environment protection and management.
The basic components of the environment are atmosphere or the air, lithosphere or the rocks and soil, hydrosphere or the water, and the living component of the environment or the biosphere.
- BIOTIC COMPONENTS (LIVING): It consists of the living parts of the environment, including the association of a lot of interrelated populations that belong to different species inhabiting a common environment. The populations are those of the animal community, the plant community and the microbial community. BIOTIC COMPONENTS (LIVING) consists of the living parts of the environment, including the association of a lot of interrelated populations that belong to different species inhabiting a common environment.
The biotic community is divided into:
- Saprotrophs, and
- ABIOTIC COMPONENTS (NON-LIVING): these are the most important determining factor of where and how well an organism exists in the environment. Although these factors interact with each other, one single factor can limit the range of an organism thus acting as the limiting factor.
These factors can be categorized into following groups:
PHYSICAL FACTORS: the major components are temperature, Water (Rainfall), Light (Energy), Soil, Atmospheric pressure.
INORGANIC AND ORGANIC SUBSTANCES: – Water, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Sulphur, Nitrates, Phosphates and ions of various metals etc. are inorganic substances essential