Earth’s land surface temperature is within very narrow parameters that make it suitable for life:
We can compare Earth’s crust to the skin that forms on boiled milk as it cools down (even though the layers of dirt are dark). Because, below earth’s stable but skin thin crust of approximately 5 to 70 km thickness is the mantle, 3 000 km profound, a hot viscous amalgam of rock that surrounds a 3 000° C boiling outer liquid core, liquid “milk” lava, and finally an inner solid nickel-iron core like a peach pit at 6 000 km heated to 6 000° C.
Galacti (our very special roving reporter who accompanies us throughout our Inventory. He can take us places and show us things we humans can’t do) sticks his hand into the earth’s slim skin surface as we consider the colossally hot core of 6 000° C and the sun with its core of 15 000 000° C just 8 minutes away as light travels. Galacti announces that the earth’s slim skin membrane remains within steady parameters in a temperature range, allowing life to exist. Unlike the Earth’s core, the ‘skin’ of our planet supports life: plants, animals, and the soil bacteria Galacti examines under a powerful microscope.
The soles of our bare feet on the earth make us realize that this temperature is just right for water to flow, worms to squirm, animals to burrow, seeds to germinate, roots to absorb, and for humans with their agricultural and other activities. With all the interplanetary orbiting, solar, stellar and seasonal activity, average land temperatures vary very little, and have always been in a range supporting life for millions of years.
The dirt we’re standing in is not just for our current explorations. Land has numerous purposes. Listen to passengers clap when their plane touches down after a flight; they appreciate “terra firma”. We speak of being “grounded” and “down to earth,” that is, reliable and mature.
Our daily lives involve ‘earth’ when we work, sleep, eat and play, whether it’s manufacturing or providing a service; asleep in our bedroom or camping in a yurt; cooking dinner in or feasting out; bowling, sailing or studying. All our activities are directly related to something earthy.
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