What is our climate system?

Posted: 1:38 PM EDT Jul 22, 2011


The atmosphere covers the Earth.

It is a thin layer of mixed gases which make up the air we breathe.

This thin layer also helps the Earth from becoming too hot or too cold.


Oceans cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface.

Their large size and thermal properties allow them to store a lot of heat.


Land covers 27 percent of Earth's surface and land topography influences weather patterns.


Ice is the world's largest supply of freshwater.

It covers the remaining 3 percent of Earth's surface including most of Antarctica and Greenland.

Ice plays an important role in regulating climate, because it is highly reflective.


The biosphere is the part of Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans that support any living plant, animal, or organism.

It is the place where plants and animals, including humans, live.