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A "Matter" of Moving



A "Matter" of Moving
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.87

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    biosphere, hydrosphere, drinkable, majority, seismologists, seismic, geosphere, nonliving, interior, sphere, technology, mass, within, view, atmosphere, planet


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A "Matter" of Moving
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     What's the matter in the Earth system? You are the matter! In fact, all living organisms and nonliving substances are matter. Matter, anything that has mass and takes up space, cycles through our Earth system continuously. A system is an organized group of parts that work together as a whole. Our planet has four major spheres or systems- biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere- that work together to keep our planet running smoothly. Before we cycle through the spheres, let's talk about systems in general.
 
2     All systems have energy and matter that move through them continuously. However, the movement of energy and matter within a system varies. In a closed system energy flows into and out of the system. Matter in a closed system does not enter or leave. Earth, along with terrariums, is a closed system. In open systems both matter and energy move into and out of the system. Earth's four spheres are open systems. These four spheres work together to form one large closed system called Earth.
 
3     If we could see our atmosphere, we would notice a mixture of gases that surround and protect our planet. The largest amounts of gas are nitrogen (about 70 percent) and oxygen (about 20 percent). There is also water vapor, carbon dioxide, and smaller amounts of other gases. Our atmosphere works together with other spheres to form our planet's weather patterns. For example, the Earth's water cycle occurs in our hydrosphere and atmosphere produces precipitation. Our hydrosphere includes all of the oceans, lakes, glaciers, surface water, and underground water on Earth. The planet is covered by nearly 75 percent water. You would be amazed to know that only 3 percent of our water is fresh and drinkable. The majority of our water is frozen in glaciers or at the Earth's poles. As you may have guessed the hydrosphere also affects the other systems on our planet. When the cold and warm ocean currents combine with the winds from the atmosphere, we see a change in our weather.

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