why is the biosphere dynamic

Why is the biosphere dynamic? The biosphere is the zone of the earth with signs of life, and it is constantly changing.

In fact, from the simple prokaryotic life-forms to the extremely complex ecosystems, the biosphere has always been experiencing constant change.

But, this makes people ask, “why is the biosphere called dynamic?” What are the underlying factors at play here?

The emergence of new species, as well as changes in geology and climate, contribute to the ever-changing character of the biosphere

Understanding a Bit about the Biosphere

understanding a bit about the biosphere

The biosphere includes all habitable regions on Earth.

Everything from the dark, deep ocean trenches to the lush jungles and lofty mountaintops is all part of the biosphere.

Scientists often use spherical imagery to describe our planet, such as:

  • There is a solid earth’s surface, which is called the lithosphere.
  • Over the lithosphere is a layer of air called the atmosphere.
  • The hydrosphere includes all of Earth’s water, both above and below ground.

The biosphere includes both the terrestrial and aquatic realms because life can be found there as well.

Most life forms can be found between a depth of about 500 meters below the ocean’s surface and a height of about 6 kilometers above sea level. 

The Origin of the Biosphere

the origin of the biosphere

Around 3.5 billion years have passed since the beginning of the biosphere.

Prokaryotes, which can function in the absence of oxygen, are among the earliest forms of life on Earth.

Photosynthesis is the process by which prokaryotes like bacteria and archaea produce oxygen and simple carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide.

This procedure paved the way for the development of more complex forms of life, such as the myriad species of plants and animals we see today. 

An Important Consideration

The biosphere is essentially an interconnected web of ecosystems that sustains itself through the flow of nutrients and energy.

Nutrients from decomposed plants and animals are reabsorbed by living plants from the soil and water.

Bacteria and other species break down these dead organisms in a never-ending cycle of nutrition exchange

More about the Dynamic Nature of the Biosphere

dynamic nature of the biosphere

A process or system is considered dynamic when it is characterized by constant change, progress or activity.

Economies are often described as dynamic when markets are driven up and down, but the term is also used widely in the sciences.

The Earth’s biosphere, which contains all life on Earth, is described as dynamic, because life within it is connected, interacting with each other and responding to its environment.

Fact: As in an economy, nothing in the biosphere happens in isolation, even the smallest organism has the potential to impact the entire biosphere in a butterfly effect. 

Why is the Biosphere Dynamic?

reasons why biosphere is dynamic

 One important thing about the biosphere is that it is dynamic in nature.

There have been many changes and adaptations to the biosphere since the first life forms emerged on Earth.

This changeable character has complex causes that stem from a wide range of elements. 

Constant Change 

Because every living thing is connected and interacting with something else, the biosphere is in a persistent state of change.

All life is constantly active, with conditions prompting various cycles into dominance as each organism strives to maintain the conditions around it at levels best for its own survival. 

The Biosphere and the Atmosphere

The biosphere itself interacts with the atmosphere.

The two systems constantly exchange energy, water and CO2 along and trace elements.

biosphere and the atmosphere

The interactions between the two form a coupled system, where conditions are always driven by progress towards equilibrium in the various biogeochemical cycles.

These include:

  • The carbon cycle
  • The nitrogen cycle
  • The sulfur cycle
  • The phosphorus cycle
  • The water cycle

The biogeochemical cycles transport and circulate all the basic elements needed to form the essential building blocks for new life and progress.

Solar radiation and sunlight circulate with them.

Fact: Sunlight is the energy needed for cellular stability, essential for all living organisms and what kick-started life as we know it on our planet. 

Examples of How Life Flourishes on Earth

Where conditions can be kept in balance by the various cycles, the organisms can survive, mature and reproduce. 

Life on earth flourishes when it is quick to adapt to change and bring conditions around it back into balance to reproduce.

examples of how life flourishes on earth

It’s Darwin’s survival of the fittest idea. 

Survivors are the organisms that are the best fit for their environment. They survive to reproduce making adaptations over generations. 

Manifestation of Imbalance in the Biosphere

So many times, habitats fail, sometimes suddenly and catastrophically, especially in volcanic and earthquake zones

The circulation of nutrients and energy is interrupted or distorted creating an imbalance between supply and demand resulting in limited nutritional resources.  

manifestation of imbalance in the biosphere

Climate change is the manifestation of imbalances between the biosphere and the atmosphere and mainly, human progress is the cause.

Adapting and evolving to fit our environments physically was likely triggered as we become meat eaters.

Digesting protein provided nutrients to develop bigger brains.

With a bigger brain, humans became communicators, problem solvers and tool users who were able to manipulate their environment. 

Interconnectedness of Elements in the Biosphere

The interconnecting systems evolved in tune with daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations and their supply of energy from the sun.

And this is a testament to how dynamic the biosphere is.

Plant life adapted to increase or decrease activity accordingly.

interconnectedness of elements in the biosphere

Trees come into leaf as the temperatures rise, reflecting back unwanted sunlight, cooling the earth and slowing evaporation. 

In our push for progress, we have affected the quality of all our air and water as we build cities on the land and changed the course of rivers.

The natural balances have almost reached a tipping point and that could deter our future progress as a species.

However, in the biosphere, there is no separating connected habitats and so the entire planet is in peril. 

This is true with industry dumping carbon into the atmosphere just as deforestation in the planet’s equatorial green belt is ripping away the biosphere’s most effective tools for dealing with it. 

An Example of Evolution in the Biosphere

example of evolution in the biosphere

On the Great Barrier Reef the alarming rate of coral whitening due to the shallow sea warming set off alarm bells worldwide.

These were ancient organisms that had adapted to be such a good evolutionary fit they had withstood the test of time.

Now we know all the coastal habitats are under threat as glaciers melt, sea levels rise and saltwater contaminates freshwater systems.

With more heat comes more water vapor so mega storms and fierce hurricanes are becoming a norm.

Lakes and oceans are experiencing die-offs in aquatic lif.

Here are some other examples the biosphere is constantly changing:

  • In Alaska salmon have deserted ancestral spawning grounds.
  • Communities along the Amazon River report smaller catches of edible fish.
  • Longer droughts across Australia and central Africa, are forcing animals to migrate.
Fact: Heavy downpours strip unanchored topsoil off land cleared of rainforest for oil palm, leaving it useless. 

Human Impact and the Dynamic Biosphere

human impact and the dynamic biosphere

Industrialized countries have been adding vast amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for centuries in the name of progress.

Now we are forced into making progress towards adapting to life on a wilder planet and working out how to be less destructive as we manage our resources. 

However, human beings are as much part of the biosphere as the next animal.

Our local interactions could trigger a positive butterfly effect through the biosphere.

In towns and cities, rooftops and verges are left to grow wild to support pollinators like butterflies and bees so local agriculture can benefit with better yields. 

There are incentives to use renewable energy at home, recycle and reuse and drive an environmentally friendly vehicle. 

The Biodiversity of the Ecosystem

All the biogeochemical processes needed for optimal conditions for life can operate with better efficiency within an ecosystem with healthy biodiversity.

Like the transport industry, the main CO2 contributor, those in farming and agriculture have made significant changes to their land management methods.

the biodiversity of the ecosystem

Our negative impact on the biosphere has resulted in a crisis in our oceans and a crisis with our land and the weather.

Food production is threatened worldwide. 

But, still, in central America, gold mining is washing away the bio rich soils and mercury from the process is polluting drinking water and killing the rivers.

Venice and the Solomon Islands are struggling against rising tides whereas Australia, America and Europe have seen intense heat waves, longer droughts and more spontaneous fires.

Fact: As well as using fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farmers plant mixed crops, leave land fallow and preserve the ecosystems of marshes, hedgerows and woodlands. 


Why is the biosphere dynamic?

The biosphere is dynamic because it is always evolving as a result of factors such as the development of new species and shifts in geology and temperature.

Because all living things are interdependent and influence one another, the biosphere is always shifting.

As a result, new cycles emerge under different environmental conditions and existing ones adapt to keep up with the demands of survival.