Natural Sciences

Natural sciences refers to sciences that study those parts of the universe obeying "laws" or "rules" of  "natural" origin as opposed to areas subject to human decisions within human society (the subject of social sciences). There is no accepted taxonomy of natural sciences, however the main "disciplines" are astronomy, biology , chemistry, and physics. Some also place interdisciplinary sciences earth sciences in the primary list which applies biology , chemistry, and physics to the scientific understanding of the earth.

Note: Because of their relative importance within the Encyclopedia of Earth, earth sciences and many other natural sciences are not included under "Natural Sciences" in the EoE taxonomy but at a equivalent level in the taxonomy.

Many environmentally-related sciences usually (but not always) included under disciplines include:

  • Biology - ecology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, soil biology, zoology, etc.
  • Chemistry - organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, etc.
  • Physics - atmospheric physics, geophysics,

The are many interdisciplinary natural sciences, such as: atmospheric sciences, biochemistry, biophysics, climatology, geodesy, geology, glaciology, hydrology, materials science, meteorology, mineralogy, oceanography, soil science, volcanology, and many, many others,

Some scientific studies like geography can combine both natural and social sciences. Physical geography is entirely a natural science.

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Recently Updated
Stream Last Updated on 2014-11-30 22:08:37 Streams alter the Earth's landscape through the movement of water and sediment (Figure 1). Streams are powerful erosive agents moving material from their bed and banks. In mountainous regions, stream erosion often produces deep channels and canyons. Streams also deposit vast amounts of sediment on the terrestrial landscape and within lakes and ocean basins. Geomorphologists often view streams as systems. The stream system, like almost all environmental systems, is open to both inputs and outputs of various types of materials. Water enters the stream system by direct precipitation in the channel, from runoff, throughflow, and by groundwater flow. The movement of water into a stream also carries with it dissolved and solid materials eroded from the surrounding landscape, stream banks, and the stream bed. Sediments carried by streams to lower elevations are occasionally... More »
Bacteria Last Updated on 2014-10-12 18:54:28 Bacteria are any of a very large group of single-celled microorganisms that display a wide range of metabolic types, geometric shapes and environmental habitats—and niches—of occurrence.  Normally only several micrometers in length, bacteria assume the form of  spheres, rods, spirals and other shapes. Bacteria are found in a very broad gamut of habitats; for example, bacterial extremophiles that thrive in such places as hot springs, arctic environments, radioactive waste, deep sea oil seeps, deep Earth crustal environments, hypersaline ponds and within other living organisms. There are approximately 50 million bacterial organisms in a single gram of typical surface soil. The worldwide bacterial biomass exceeds that of all plants and animals on Earth. However, the majority of bacteria have not yet been characterised, Bacteria are members of the prokaryote... More »
African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Last Updated on 2014-07-09 16:51:53 Entry into Force: 16 June 1969 Preamble We, the Heads of State and Government of Independent African States, Fully conscious that soil, water, flora and faunal resources constitute a capital of vital importance to mankind; Confirming, as we accepted upon declaring our adherence to the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, that we know that it is our duty "to harness the natural and human resources of our continent for the total advancement of our peoples in spheres of human endeavour"; Fully conscious of the ever-growing importance of natural resources from an economic, nutritional, scientific, educational, cultural and aesthetic point of view; Conscious of the dangers which threaten some of these irreplaceable assets; Accepting that the utilization of the natural resources must aim at satisfying the needs of man according to the carrying capacity of the... More »
Pleistocene Last Updated on 2014-07-02 14:12:09 This article on the Pleistocene Epoch was written by P. D. P, Brian R. Speer and Ben Waggoner. The mammoth was one of the largest land mammals of the Pleistocene, the time period that spanned from 1.8 million to approximately 10,000 years ago. Pleistocene biotas were extremely close to modern ones — many genera and even species of Pleistocene conifers, mosses, flowering plants, insects, mollusks, birds, mammals and others survive to this day. Yet the Pleistocene was also characterized by the presence of distinctive large land mammals and birds. Mammoths and their cousins the mastodons, longhorned bison, sabre-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and many other large mammals characterized Pleistocene habitats in North America, Asia, and Europe. Native horses and camels galloped across the plains of North America. Great teratorn birds with 25-foot wingspans stalked prey. Around the... More »
National Forest System (NFS) Roadless Area Initiatives Last Updated on 2014-07-01 15:36:04 Roadless areas in the U.S.National Forest System (NFS) have received special attention for decades. Many want to protect their relatively pristine condition; others want to use the areas in more developed ways. Two different roadless area policies have been offered in the last decade. On January 12, 2001, the Clinton Administration’s roadless area policy established a nationwide approach to managing roadless areas in the National Forest System to protect their pristine conditions. The Nationwide Rule, as it will be called in this report, generally prohibited road construction and reconstruction and timber harvesting in 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas, with significant exceptions. The Bush Administration initially postponed the effective date of the Nationwide Rule, then issued its own rule that allowed states to plan how roadless areas were managed. It issued a... More »