NCERT Notes: Environment [Geography Notes For UPSC]

  • The place, people, things and nature that surround any living organism is called environment.
  • It is a combination of natural and human-made phenomena.
  • The natural environment refers to both biotic and abiotic conditions existing on the earth.
    • Biotic- The world of living organisms. E.g. plants and animals.
    • Abiotic- The world of non-living elements. E.g. land.
Natural Environment


  • It is the solid crust or the hard top layer of the earth. It is made up of rocks and minerals and covered by a thin layer of soil.
  • Lithosphere is the domain that provides us forests, grasslands for grazing, land for agriculture and human settlements. It is also a source of mineral wealth.


  • The domain of water is referred to as hydrosphere
  • It comprises various sources of water and different types of water bodies like rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, etc.


  • It is the thin layer of air that surrounds the earth.
  • The gravitational force of the earth holds the atmosphere around it.
  • It protects us from the harmful rays and scorching heat of the sun.
  • It consists of a number of gases, dust and water vapour. The changes in the atmosphere produce changes in the weather and climate.


  • Plant and animal kingdom together make biosphere.
  • It is a narrow zone of the earth where land, water and air interact with each other to support life.

What is ecosystem?

  • All plants, animals and human beings depend on their immediate surroundings. This relation between the living organisms, as well as the relation between the organisms and their surroundings, forms an ecosystem.

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