What is included in an environmental system?

What is included in an environmental system?

In ESS course the system approach is very important. Included in an environmental system, we find a an assemblage of parts, working together, forming a functional whole. Many types of environmental systems exist. From cells, to people, to cars to the whole planet. Systems occur on different scales; your school is a system and your household.


What is included in an environmental system?


The systems approach is central to the course and has been employed for a few reasons. The very nature of environmental issues demands a holistic treatment. An environmental system functions as a whole and the traditional reductionist approach of science inevitably tends to overlook or, at least, understate this important quality. Furthermore, the systems approach is common to many disciplines (for example, economics, geography, politics, ecology). It emphasizes the similarities between the ways in which matter, energy and information flow (not only in biological systems but in, for example, transport and communication systems). This approach therefore integrates the perspectives of different disciplines.

There are different scales of systems. The range must include:

  • a small-scale local ecosystem,
  • a large ecosystem such as a biome,
  • and Gaia as an example of a global ecosystem.

Forests contain many small-scale ecosystems.

Read more about ESS course here.

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