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Earth science
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Earth science

Earth science (also known as geoscience or the geosciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. It is arguably a special case in planetary science, being the only known life-bearing planet. There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth science. The major historic disciplines use physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology to build a quantitative understanding of the principal areas or spheres of the Earth system:

However, given the numerous interactions between the spheres many modern fields take an interdisciplinary approach and thus do not sit comfortably in this scheme:

Furthermore, other modern disciplines known collectively as Earth system science approach the entire Earth as a system in its own right, which evolves as a result of positive and negative feedbacks between constituent systems:

Like all other scientists, earth scientists apply the scientific method: formulate hypotheses after observation of and gathering data about natural phenomena and then test those hypotheses. In earth science, data usually plays a critical role in testing and formulating hypotheses. The systems approach, enabled by the combined use of computer models as hypotheses tested by global satellite and ship-board data, is increasingly giving scientists the ability to explain the past and possible future behaviour of the Earth system.

Table of contents
1 Partial list of the major Earth Science topics

Partial list of the major Earth Science topics

Geology

Oceanography

Geography

Limnology

Glaciology

Atmospheric Science

Systems/multidisciplinary