The geosphere is divided into four subsystems: the lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere. Because these subsystems interact with one another and with the biosphere, they work together to control the climate, activate geological processes, and influence life on Earth. The key concept to understand the importance of each of these subsystems is that they all affect each other.
The lithosphere forms the rigid outer shell of the planet and contains most of the mass of the earth's crust. The lithosphere is made up of several large plates that move away from each other at depths of hundreds of miles. As these plates collide or "slide" past one another, mountain ranges are created and destroyed, causing significant changes in climate. These events can also trigger volcanic eruptions. The lithosphere is both a cause and effect of major geological events such as volcanoes erupting on other planets or earthquakes striking off the coast of California.
The hydrosphere is the second largest subsystem and is responsible for nearly every aspect of life as we know it. The hydrosphere consists of the water that covers 70% of the earth's surface and the gas bubbles that fill our oceans. This huge reservoir of water is what allows us to live on other planets such as Mars or Europa. It also provides the friction that prevents objects from orbiting the earth too closely or escaping our gravitational pull completely.
Although these subsystems can operate alone, they usually interface with at least one other subsystem. The formation of soil is an example of all four subsystems interacting. All four subsystems contribute to and collaborate to form soil. Soil forms when organic material from dead plants and animals decays and becomes enriched with nutrients - especially nitrogen - that would otherwise be lost as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Organic matter also provides habitat for many organisms that break down additional amounts of organic material. Roots of plants are responsible for much of this decomposition. Microorganisms play a role, but so do insects, worms, and other animals that eat plants. As soil develops under the care of humans, it is called agricultural soil. This type of soil contains large amounts of organic matter and is rich in nutrients that aid plant growth. Agricultural soil provides the food supply that fuels global human development. Without this soil, there would be no way to feed ourselves because most crops need some amount of nitrogen to grow well. Most soils around the world have been degraded by over-plowing or using pesticides and herbicides which kills off vegetation that would otherwise help maintain soil quality. This leaves little room for microbes to live in that could help decompose organic matter if it wasn't for the fact that many insect pests need nitrogen too.
A subsystem is a component of a larger system. The atmosphere, seas (including upper and deep oceans), sea ice, ice sheets, land surface, and biota are examples of climate system subsystems. Stephen H.'s answer provides more detail on this topic.
Systems inside systems are referred to as subsystems. Subsystems are classified into two categories. The first relates to distinct internal groupings inside a broader system. Two or more sets of alters may have formed separately in this situation, and they may or may not be aware of the other (s). They could be completely separate groups with no connection between them.
The second category concerns parts that are not distinguishable from the whole system itself. These would include elements such as organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. Although each of these items has many subsystems, the overall system is still considered to have more significant subsystems.
Subsystems can also be classified by function. There are physical subsystems such as the brain and the immune system. These are usually large components that are difficult to break down into smaller pieces. There are also functional subsystems such as the nervous system and the endocrine system. These are made up of several components but only one can operate at a time. If the overall system fails, so do the functions of the subsystem. Finally, there are organizational subsystems such as families and gangs. These are large collections of individuals that are connected by relationships with others in the system. They often have their own rules and guidelines that members must follow.
All three types of subsystems can be found within larger systems. For example, the human body is a physical system that contains many organs that are functional subsystems.
It is made up of items known as subsystems. System theorists take a viewpoint when they concentrate on the total system while realizing that the organization is made up of subsystems that are linked together in various ways. For example, one could study how signals are transmitted from the brain to the muscles by looking only at the spinal column but not the whole body. One would be studying a part of the brain-muscle connection rather than the whole thing.
Subsystems may be large or small, simple or complicated. The eye is a complex piece of machinery that consists of several different parts working together: lens, retina, muscles, nerves. Yet an optometrist who concentrates on the lens as a separate entity from the eye will miss important information about vision problems. The lens is just one part of the overall optical system of the eye. It can't be studied in isolation from the other parts.
A lens is a transparent object located within the eye that bends light rays toward the back of the eye so they can be focused on the retina. Lenses are used to improve vision by allowing objects far away to be seen with greater clarity or by bringing closer objects into focus.
Subsystems The subsystem is where the system's job is done. A subsystem is a single, predetermined operating environment that the system uses to manage task flow and resource consumption. The system may have numerous subsystems, each of which operates independently of the others. Resources are managed via subsystems. For example, the keyboard is a subsystem of the computer system. It is used by the operating system to communicate with the user at one end and the hardware at the other. Multiple keyboards can be connected to a single computer system if necessary.
Systems Systems are complete units that perform specific tasks or functions. A computer system is an example of a complex system. It consists of multiple components that work together to create a functional unit.
How do systems differ from subsystems? Systems usually include many different types of devices that work together to achieve a common goal. For example, a computer system might include a central processing unit (CPU), memory, input/output devices such as printers and displays, and other supporting elements such as power supplies and heat sinks. Each component in the system performs a specific function - the CPU processes information, stores data, etc.. The combination of all these components makes up the full functionality of the system. Some systems have more components than others while others may lack certain elements. However, they all serve a similar purpose - forming a complete functioning unit.