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
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 »
Von Humboldt, Alexander Last Updated on 2014-06-26 16:40:53 Baron Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was one of the last true generalists in science.  While generally considered a geographer, he contributed to most of the sciences of the natural environment found today.  Born in Berlin, von Humboldt’s father was Chamberlain to the King, a royal advisor, who died when Alexander was nine years old. As a child, he received a private education and was a slow learner and sickly much of the time.  On his own, though, he loved collecting local plants and animals and reading books on foreign travel and adventure.  He also loved to draw, mostly landscapes.  Typical of the time, science was not part of his schooling; Humboldt was generally self taught in that area.  At sixteen, he attended some lectures on physics and philosophy by a local doctor and then he decided to pursue a career in science.   Humboldt... More »
Key findings, science gaps, and recommendations for freshwater ecosystems in the ACIA Last Updated on 2014-06-24 17:51:50 This is Section 8.8 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Lead Authors: Frederick J.Wrona,Terry D. Prowse, James D. Reist; Contributing Authors: Richard Beamish, John J. Gibson, John Hobbie, Erik Jeppesen, Jackie King, Guenter Koeck, Atte Korhola, Lucie Lévesque, Robie Macdonald, Michael Power,Vladimir Skvortsov,Warwick Vincent; Consulting Authors: Robert Clark, Brian Dempson, David Lean, Hannu Lehtonen, Sofia Perin, Richard Pienitz, Milla Rautio, John Smol, Ross Tallman, Alexander Zhulidov In general, changes in climate and UV radiation levels in the Arctic are very likely to have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation with freshwater... More »