Author Archives: Abdul Wahab

Atmosphere

What is Atmosphere?

Our Earth is surrounded by layers of gases. This layer of gases is called atmosphere. It helps us to breath oxygen, fly the airplanes, and enjoy the breeze of air.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Atmosphere extends up to 500 km in space from the ground. But, as we move up in the atmosphere its density and pressure will gradually decrease and temperature also changes. We can’t go up in the atmosphere without any pressurized suit. Because, after few kilometers pressure decrease to a value where we can’t survive.

The atmosphere of the Earth is divided into five main layers according to the temperature. These layers are:
layers-of-atmosphere

  1. Troposphere: It is the densest layer of the atmosphere which has the 80% mass of the atmosphere. All the weather phenomena (storms, rains, and lightning) happen mostly in this layer. Also, the Airplanes fly in this layer. The troposphere extends up to 10 Kilometers from the ground, and we all live in this layer of the atmosphere.
  2. Stratosphere: The Stratosphere extends up to 50 Kilometers. This layer carries most of the ozone gas, which protects us from UV rays of the Sun. Whether balloons can fly up to this layer for measurement of whether parameters.
  3. Mesosphere: It extends about 50 kilometers further. This is the layer where meteorites mostly burn up when they enter our atmosphere. Mesosphere has the coldest temperature among all the layers of the atmosphere.
  4. Thermosphere: It has the highest temperature of all the layers. The temperature can reach to 1500 C or 2700 F. But, this layer is so thin that it won’t be able to burn your skin.
  5. Exosphere: After the thermosphere, the exosphere starts. It is the thinnest layer among all the layers. This layer extends up to 10,000 Kilometers into This layer is mostly composed of hydrogen and helium.

So, what do you think where space begins? Actually, the atmosphere is so diffused in the space that there is no any clear boundary between the atmosphere and space. But space is officially considered 50 to 80 miles from the ground.

How Atmosphere protects life on the Earth

Atmosphere covers our Earth like a blanket and insulates it from the space. It provides precious pressure on the ground so that we can live comfortably. Our atmosphere absorbs the heat from the Sun during the day and retains it for the night. As a result, our nights don’t get too cold.

The stratosphere in the atmosphere carries the ozone gas. This gas protects living things on from cancer-causing Ultraviolet rays from the Sun. Our atmosphere also absorbs the deadly radiations coming from the outer space. But, we as a human don’t respect the atmosphere very well. Humans have been polluting the atmosphere from centuries ago. See Air Pollution for further information.

Fun Facts about Atmosphere

  • The atmosphere contains greenhouse gases which absorb solar radiation and heat our Earth during the night.
  • The atmosphere looks very thin if you compare it with the diameter of the Earth.
  • Ozone gas molecule is made of three oxygen atoms bonded together, instead of 2 oxygen atoms that we breathe on the ground.
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Air Pollution

When you go to the city during rush hours, you can clearly sense the smell of the burning fuels coming from the vehicles. This is really unwanted smell which sometimes makes it difficult to breathe. This is a kind of air pollution that citizen mostly face in their daily lives.
Air Pollution

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is actually the mixing of unwanted chemical, burnt fuels, gases and different particles with our atmosphere that may cause harm. The air pollution is really a big issue in these days. All the developed countries are finding ways to reduce the air pollution.

Sources of Air Pollution

There are many sources of air pollution. Some are natural, while other are manmade. But, these are actually the man-made sources of air pollutions that are badly harming our beautiful Earth.

Natural sources: The natural sources of air pollution include storms, fires in the forests, the eruption of the volcanoes.

volcano

Man-made sources: Since the dawn of fuel consuming machines. Humans have been burning fossil fuels to generate power. The consumption of fossil fuel has increased day by day which also pollutes the air more and more. Today we are highly relied on fossil fuel for generating the power for electricity, factories, and transportation etc. As a result, our air is being polluted very fast and affecting the health of all the living things.

pollution-caused-by-power-plant

Power plants are polluting the atmosphere

Effect of Air Pollution on Health

Air pollution has very adverse effects of our health. Since we breathe air for taking oxygen, but due to air pollution, the harmful chemicals also goes along with the oxygen. These harmful chemicals mix with our blood in the lungs. As a result, they cause our respiration system to get infected and sometimes cause lung cancer. According to the new research, 5.5 million deaths around the world are caused by air pollution.

Effects on Environment

Air pollution is affecting the environment negatively other than the health effects. The environment issue caused by the air pollution are:

Depletion of Ozone Layer: Ozone layer is the layer of gas which protects us from the deadly radiations of the Sun. This layer is washed-out when the methane and CFCs gases reach the upper atmosphere.

Global Warming: Global warming is referred to the rise in average temperature of Earth. It may cause disastrous effects on the Earth. This is mostly caused by the emission of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. When the fossil fuel is burnt, the carbon dioxide is produced.

Acid Rain: When sulfur dioxide reaches high in the atmosphere, it gets mixed with moisture in clouds. As a result, the water in clouds become acidic. When it rains, the forests and fish life is harmed.

Major Pollutants

The major pollutant in our atmosphere are:

Carbon dioxide: Carbon dioxide is the gas released when fossil fuels are burned. This gas increases the greenhouse effect and causes the global warming.

Carbon Monoxide: It is also produced when fuel is burnt. This is odorless gas, but it very dangerous. We can die if we breathe carbon monoxide too much.

How can you help?

  1. Every time you are using electricity and gasoline, you must understand that they are coming from fossil fuels. So avoiding wastage of electricity and gasoline helps reduce the pollutions.
  2. Try to go on your feet or public transport to your schools or offices. This helps in reducing the fossil fuel consumption.
  3. Try growing plants around your home and street. They absorb carbon dioxide and gives us oxygen.
  4. If you can afford, try to make your home electricity using renewable energy sources like solar energy and wind energy. This way you will be producing electricity for your home without contributing to air pollution.

Interesting Facts

  • The largest CO2 emission was caused by China and US in
  • Renewable energy sources can be used instead of fossil fuels to reduce the air pollution.
  • Sometimes air pollution may cause eye burns.
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Plant Structure

Plants are the beauty of nature. They look very beautiful and gives us fresh oxygen. There are many types of the plants on the Earth including flowering plants and non-flowering plants. These plants differ in their structure, but the basic structures of these plants are similar. We will discuss the structures of the plants that are produced from the seeds.

plant-structures

Roots

Roots are the part of a plant that are buried in the soil. They grow out of the seeds during the germination. Roots perform very important tasks, which include:

  • Absorbing the water and the necessary nutrients and sending them to different parts of the plant.
  • It provides a good grip to the stem of a plant so that it can stand against the wind.
  • Some plants store the food in their roots. Examples of these plants are carrots and potatoes.

Stems

Stems are connected with the roots and grow outside the soil. All the parts of the plants are connected to the stems. When a plant is young, its stems are green. But as they grow older, their stems turn their color and become hard. Stem performs functions, which include:

  • It provides support to the leaves, flowers, and fruits.
  • It carries the water and nutrient absorbed by the roots to all parts of a plant.
  • Stems also store food in many plants, like sugar cane.

Buds

Buds look like a bump on the stem of a plant. These are the developing shoots, which will become branches of the plant.

Leaves

Leaves are the important part of the plants, which have green color (not all plants have green colored leaves). They produce the food for the whole plant by the process of photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, plants take the carbon dioxide from the air and light from the Sun to make food. Also, they produce oxygen for us to breathe.

Flowers

When the plants become mature, they produce flowers (only flowering plants produce flowers). Flowers have beautiful colors with attractive fragrance. They play an important role in the reproduction of the flowering plants. They also make the seeds and the fruits of a plant.

Fruits

Fruits are the parts of plants that bear its seeds. The fruits are made when the female part of the flower are pollinated. Making delicious fruits is the strategy used by plants to disperse it seeds to different locations. Because fruits are delicious, when animals are humans eat them they will through its seeds to land.

apple

Apple

Fun Facts

  • Flowers have eye-catching colors and good smell to attract the insects and animals to carry their pollen.
  • Humans use around 2000 different species of plant in their food.
  • Some plants eat insects as their food. These plants are called carnivorous plants.
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Trees

Trees are the one of the very useful and beautiful living things on the Earth. They provide us fresh oxygen and many necessary things, like wood, pulp for producing the paper, fruits, shade in the sunny days, and provide the home to a lot of animals including land animals, insects, and birds.

tree

What is Tree?

Trees are the plants, which looks bigger with lots of branches and leaves. There is no any proper scientific definition about the tree. But, authors define the trees by their own way. Generally, a plant is considered a tree if its height reaches more than 13 feet, has woody a stem, and lives for many years.

Types of Trees

There are the two main types of trees; one is evergreen and other is deciduous. Both of them are slightly different.

  • Evergreen Trees: Evergreens plants, as the name suggests remain the green in all the seasons. Their leaves don’t completely fall during the autumn. They grow new leaves, which replace the older ones. Examples of the evergreen trees are conifers, which include redwoods, pines, cypresses.

    Pine tree

    Pine tree

  • Deciduous Trees: Deciduous trees are known to lose all of the leaves during autumn and remain bare throughout the winter. They grow new leaves each year, unlike the evergreen trees which don’t lose all of their leaves at once. The color of deciduous trees also changes in the autumn. The examples of deciduous trees are beeches, maples, and oaks.

    oak-tree

    Oak tree

Parts of a Tree

The main parts of a tree are:parts-of-tree

  • Roots: Roots are part of the trees which remain in the soil. They absorb the water and nutrients from the soil for the whole tree. Also, they provide the anchor to the tree.
  • Trunk: Trunk provides support to all parts of a tree and gives the tree its shape. It stores and transports the water, nutrients, and food to all parts of the plants.
  • Crown: Crown is the top of the tree, which contains all the leaves and branches. It has different shapes and sizes for different trees.
  • Branches: Branches distributes the leaves in the air evenly. They grow at different positions so that leaves can get the necessary air and the sunshine.
  • Leaves: They are like the food factories for a tree. They produce food for the tree in the photosynthesis process and gives the precious oxygen to animals and humans. Leaves contain a substance called chlorophyll, which gives them a green color and used in the photosynthesis.

Trees and Humans

Trees are giving us food, wood, and many other necessary materials. They provide us fresh oxygen and helps to reduce the pollution. But, we as a human are destroying the trees for land and wood. The number of trees across the world is decreasing sharply. A lot of forests have been destroyed for the land and agriculture. As a result, many animals have become endangered species and air pollution has raised.

destroyed-forest

Destroyed forest

We must understand the fact that trees are the important part of the ecosystem. They help us in many ways and make our Earth a place to live. We should treat the trees with proper care. If you can, try to plant as many trees as possible around your home. Also, tell others the importance of the trees.

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Plant Defenses

Plants are the necessary part of the biosphere. They grow and reproduce, giving herbivores (plant eaters) the necessary food for their survival. Herbivores can highly damage the plant or sometimes completely consume them. As a result, plants have evolved many defense mechanisms to protect themselves against the herbivory (plant eating).plant-defenses

Types of Plant defenses

There are two types of defenses in the plants.

  1. Constitutive defenses: These defenses are always present in the plant. Regardless of they are being attacked or not.
  2. Induced defenses: These defenses are triggered when plants are attacked or being damaged by herbivores.

Thorns

Many plants grow thorns on their branches to protect their leaves and flowers from being eaten. Thorns make it difficult for the herbivores to eat the leaves. Thorns can damage the mouth of the herbivores. You may have seen the thorns on bushes of the rose flowers. Cactus (a desert plant) is covered with spines, which will poke the herbivore when it reaches closer to it.

Cactus

Cactus

Bark

Many plants cover themselves with bark and stems, which prevents insects from damaging inside. Barks also protect the inside of a plant from the atmosphere or harsh weather conditions.

Bad Taste

Some Plants also gives their leaves a very bad taste, so that herbivores will dislike them. The bad taste of leaves saves the leaves the plants, but many insects are able to eat the bad tasting leaves. The tomato plant is one of those plants whose leaves have very bad taste, but their tomatoes are delicious.

Chemical Defenses

Chemical defenses have been developed in many plants that can make the herbivores very sick, or sometimes killing them. Poison Ivy is a plant which releases oil-like-liquid that can give its attacker an itchy rash.

poison-ivy

Poison Ivy

Some plants have learned about the predators of the herbivores. So, when they are attacked, they release a chemical that attracts the predators of the herbivores.

Fun Facts

  • A lot of drugs that are in use today are made from the chemicals, which are used by plants for their protection.
  • Cotton produce a chemical that is used to kill bacteria and fungus.
  • Plants also use chemical defenses against other plants to prevent them from taking the space around them.
  • Many plants make predators their friend by giving them housing. These predators hunt the herbivores for their food, saving the plant from being eaten.
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