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:
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.
Cultivating the Seeds of Knowledge:
Growing a Greener Future for our Nation
As the bitter chill of winter retreats, the vibrancy of spring beckons us outdoors reminding...
National Forest System (NFS) Roadless Area InitiativesLast Updated on 2013-09-30 17:30:22
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 »
Natural environmentLast Updated on 2013-09-03 20:57:36The natural environment is the set of living and non-living things on Earth which occur in a state substantially not influenced by humans. The term is most often applied to an ecological complex, which includes all of the plants; animals; microorganisms; abiotic factors such as minerals; rocks and magma; water bodies; and atmosphere layers. There are extremely complex interactions between the living organisms and abiotic elements as well as meteorological influences, all of which combine to form rich speciation and biodiversity in most natural systems. Exceptions to this species richness are in extreme conditions of pH, temperature and deep ocean conditions, where only a limited number of biological species are able to survive as a result of specialized adaptations to these difficult environments.
In contrast to the natural environment is the built environment. In such areas... More »
AnthropoceneLast Updated on 2013-09-03 12:23:40
The Anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. The word combines the root "anthropo", meaning "human" with the root "-cene", the standard suffix for "epoch" in geologic time. The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the Holocene, the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period.
Anthropocene is a new term, proposed in 2000 by Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen. A similar term, Anthrocene, was coined by Andrew Revkin in his 1992 book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, but was not adopted by scientists.... More »
Los Alamos National LaboratoryLast Updated on 2013-08-11 10:26:48Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico, is one of several U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories.
It is noteworthy as the site where the world's first nuclear weapon was developed under a heavy cloak of secrecy during World War II, and has been known variously as Site Y, Los Alamos Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Today, it is recognized as one of the world's leading science and technology institutes.
Since June 2006, LANL has been managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS). LANL's self-stated mission is to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent. Its research work serves to advance bioscience, chemistry, computer science, Earth and environmental sciences, materials science, and physics disciplines.
The Manhattan Project was the... More »
SubductionLast Updated on 2013-08-11 09:49:32
Subduction is a term used in earth science to describe the process where of the oceanic lithosphere (the outer solid part of the Earth, including the crust and uppermost mantle, about 100 km thick) collides with and descends beneath the part of the lithosphere. In terms of tectonics, subduction is the result of two tectonic plates converging, and one plate sliding (subducting) under another plate. The term "subduction zone" is used to describe the region where subduction occurs and the characteristics associated with subduction are observed.
The gliding of one plate under the other is not smooth but jerky producing seismic waves. Thus, subduction is associated with earthquakes. Subduction results in the creation of molten magma that gives rises to volcanism, particularly a line of volcanoes known as "arc volcanoes" or a series of volcanic islands. Most volcanoes... More »
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