Planet Earth is perfect.
Everything about our world - its size, its distance from the Sun, its spin and tilt, its moon - is perfectly suited to our existence, and our planet's natural forces perfectly nurture life. A global weather system circulates and distributes fresh water to all corners of the globe, marine currents deliver nutrients to even the deepest reaches of the ocean, sunlight warms and energises everything it touches, and powerful volcanoes create and fertilise the land. As a result, there is literally no part of our planet where life can’t be found.
Without volcanoes life on Earth would never have begun. They are responsible for both our breathable atmosphere and our oceans. Mineral rich ash from regular eruptions fertilise the land. They are the architects of the planet; over 80% of the earth’s surface is the result of magma rising from its molten interior - providing a platform for life.
Life on our planet is solar powered. Every single part of Earth’s surface gets 4,380 hours of sunlight a year, but in different strengths depending on where you are: a variation that drives much of the natural world.
Water is vital for all life. Our perfect planet has this precious resource in abundance – yet most of it exists as sea water, too salty for terrestrial life to use. In fact of all the water on Earth, just 3% exists as freshwater, and almost all of that is locked up as ice or hidden in underground aquifers. Only a tiny fraction of our planet’s water is held in rivers and lakes where it can be accessed by the dazzling diversity of life on land – and it’s only made accessible through the actions of our planet’s weather; for weather is the force that distributes this freshwater around the world.
Oceans are the largest ecosystem on Earth, covering two thirds of our world’s surface and providing half the oxygen in our atmosphere. They’re home to as much as 80% of all life on Earth, and nearly three billion people rely on them for their primary source of food.
Our home, a blue glowing beacon of life, hangs alone in the cosmos. The only living world we know of. Life on our planet is shaped by the earth’s natural forces, but there is a new force, one so powerful, it is upsetting the balance of life on Earth and threatening our perfect planet – that force is us.
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