Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

How do open and closed systems differ? How does feedback affect the dynamic equilibrium of a system?

To determine

The way in which open and closed systems differ and the way in which feedback affects the dynamic equilibrium of a system.


A closed system is defined as the one where there is no important amount of matter crossing its borders even though energy can pass in and out of a closed system. The Earth is basically a closed system. Solar energy enters the Earth’s system and goes out mainly as heat. External inputs of matter are almost nil, except for the meteorites reaching the surface of Earth and virtually there is no matter going out from the Earth’s system, except the gaseous molecules released into the atmosphere.

An open system is defined as the one with free transfer of both energy and matter across the boundaries as inputs and outputs. The Earth’s subsystems are open systems with incoming and outgoing energy and matter.

Balance of nature means that the natural systems possess in-built mechanisms that tend to counterpoise or accommodate fluctuations without disturbing the system...

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