• land
  • A specified geographical tract of the Earth's surface including all its attributes, comprising its geology, superficial deposits, topography, hydrology, soils, flora and fauna, together with the results of past and present human activity, to the extent that these attributes exert a significant influence on the present and future land utilization.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Land, also called dry land, ground, or earth, is the solid terrestrial surface of planet Earth that is not submerged by the ocean or another body of water. Land makes up 29 percent of Earth's surface and includes the continents and a variety of islands. Earth's land surface is almost entirely covered by regolith, a surface layer of rock, soil and minerals that forms the outer part of Earth's crust. The land is a vital part of Earth's climate system and plays important roles in the carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, and water cycle. One-third of land is covered in trees, 15 percent in crops, and a tenth in permanent snow and glaciers. Land terrain varies greatly and consists of mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, glaciers, and other landforms. In physical geology, the land is divided into two major categories: mountain ranges and relatively flat interiors called cratons. Both are formed over millions of years through plate tectonics. A major part of Earth's water cycle, streams shape the landscape, carved rocks, transport sediments, and replenish groundwater. At high elevations or latitudes, snow is compacted and recrystallized over hundreds or thousands of years to form glaciers, which can be so heavy that they warp the Earth's crust. About 30 percent of land has a dry climate, due to losing more water through evaporation than it gains from precipitation. Since warm air rises, this generates winds, though the Earth's rotation and uneven sun distribution also play a part. Land is commonly defined as the solid, dry surface of Earth. The word land may also collectively refer to land cover, rivers, shallow lakes, natural resources, non-marine fauna and flora (biosphere), the lower portions of the atmosphere (troposphere), groundwater reserves, and the physical results of human activity on land, such as architecture and agriculture. Even though saturated land, or mud, is common away from the ocean, to anyone in a body of water the shoreline is referred to as where dry land begins. Though modern terrestrial plants and animals evolved from aquatic creatures, Earth's first cellular life likely originated on land. Survival on land depends on fresh water from rivers, streams, lakes, and glaciers, which constitutes only three percent of the water on Earth. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that are habitable and support agriculture and various natural resources. In recent decades, scientists and policymakers have emphasized the need to manage land and its biosphere more sustainably, notably by restoring degraded soil, preserving biodiversity, protecting endangered species, and addressing climate change.



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