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What is our climate system?

Published On: Jul 22 2011 12:38:35 PM CDT

Atmosphere:

The atmosphere covers the Earth.

It is a thin layer of mixed gases which make up the air we breathe.

This thin layer also helps the Earth from becoming too hot or too cold.

Oceans:

Oceans cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface.

Their large size and thermal properties allow them to store a lot of heat.

Land:

Land covers 27 percent of Earth's surface and land topography influences weather patterns.

Ice:

Ice is the world's largest supply of freshwater.

It covers the remaining 3 percent of Earth's surface including most of Antarctica and Greenland.

Ice plays an important role in regulating climate, because it is highly reflective.

Biosphere:

The biosphere is the part of Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans that supports any living plant, animal, or organism.

It is the place where plants and animals, including humans, live.