Earth System Science
The Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses 64,000 square miles across six states. While this may seem vast, the watershed is also part of much larger and interconnected Earth systems. These systems shape the weather we experience, the climate we live in and many of the biological, physical and chemical processes that drive environmental conditions in the Bay and throughout its watershed.
Earth Systems Science crosses multiple disciplines such as, chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics to understand the interactions that determine the past, present and future states of the Earth. Many Earth Systems Science models break Earth systems down into four primary spheres, the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), geosphere/lithosphere (land) and biosphere (plants and animals). The interactions between these systems shape the physical and natural environment of the Earth, including the Bay region. It is important to understand the various processes that make up Earth systems and how they are connected in order to understand how humans influence these global systems and predict changes in climate, weather, and the landscape.