Why is the Earth habitable?
A special planet: the habitable Earth
What makes the Earth habitable? It is the right distance from the Sun, it is protected from harmful solar radiation by its magnetic field, it is kept warm by an insulating atmosphere, and it has the right chemical ingredients for life, including water and carbon. The processes that shape the Earth and its environment constantly cycle elements through the planet. This cycling sustains life and leads to the formation of the mineral and energy resources that are the foundation of modern technological society.
The Earth’s resources are many and varied. Some are illustrated by the samples shown here.
An unusual environment for life exists deep in the oceans.
The Earth’s resources — everything from oil and gas to metal ores to fresh water — are the basis of modern civilization.
The Earth is a dynamic planet.