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The Many Benefits the Sun Provides the Earth

Grade Level Grades 3-5
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The sun is the earth’s closest star. It is also a vital component of life on earth. You probably already know the sun provides energy to the earth, but did you know the earth also gives off its own energy? While the sun gives off more powerful energy, and life on earth as we know it would not exist without it, the energy provided by the earth is also beneficial to the health of the planet. Both energies are important, and here are 5 reasons why.

1. Health Benefits of the Sun

The energy from the sun provides warmth to the animals and vegetation inhabiting the surface of the earth. Without the sun, the earth would have a cold exterior and the oceans would freeze. Plants and animals that require the warmth of the sun would no longer exist.

The sun provides more than warmth to sustain life. Plants need sunlight to grow and create oxygen through a process known as photosynthesis. People need plants for food and the oxygen they create. People also need the sun for vitamin D. Vitamin D helps children and adults build calcium which is necessary for strong bones.

2. Energy Harnessed From the Sun

With the rays provided by the sun, people are able to harness, or capture, the sun’s energy through solar panels. That energy is then transferred to businesses and homes for heating and lighting. This is called solar power and it is a form of clean energy, which means it is not harmful to the environment.

The benefits of solar energy are playing a vital role in correcting damage that has been inflicted on the atmosphere through decades of pollution and emissions. These emissions come from traditional forms of energy such as coal and natural gas. While coal and natural gas are still used to create energy, more people are choosing to use clean energy so that future generations of people can inherit and enjoy a cleaner environment.

3. The Sun Creates Weather Patterns

The sun is important to the earth’s water cycle. Through the energy that bounces off the earth and back into the atmosphere, water is carried to the atmosphere through a process known as evaporation. When water lands in the earth’s atmosphere it creates rain and snow, scattering it across the earth so that is shared by all life.

When a drought occurs, this means rain and snow haven’t been able to reach an area for a long period of time. Plants and animals that live in that area may have to find other water sources, such as through drilling below the earth’s surface.

4. Energy From the Earth

The earth’s core is the hottest area of our planet. If the sun were to suddenly go dark, the surface temperature of the earth would drop dramatically; however, the earth’s core would continue to emit enough heat for the life that lives below earth’s surface.

Energy from the earth’s core has been used by people for thousands of years to heat water and melt snow. The energy created by the earth is called geothermal energy. It resides deep within the earth’s crust. Anytime a volcano or geyser erupts, you can see the result of geothermal energy rising to the surface in the form of molten lava and hot water.

Like the rays of the sun, the energy it provides is renewable, meaning it can be reused. Like solar power, this type of energy is also called clean energy. People are still learning about different ways to access and use this naturally occurring energy. 

The sun is important to life on earth for many reasons, including providing warmth, vitamins and energy. Energy created by the earth and sun is important to the future of the earth. People are adapting to using the energy created by both in their everyday lives because it is clean energy and doesn’t impact the environment.

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