In modern times, geology is commercially important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation and for evaluating water resources.It is publicly important for the prediction and understanding of natural hazards, the remediation of environmental problems, and for providing insights into past climate change.Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 17th century.
It is arguably a special case in planetary science, the Earth being the only known life-bearing planet.
There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences.
There is a difference between physical science and physics.
Over the last two millennia, physics was a part of natural philosophy along with chemistry, certain branches of mathematics, and biology, but during the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century, the natural sciences emerged as unique research programs in their own right.
These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers blend to further knowledge of the world ocean and understanding of processes within it: biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics as well as geography.
Geology (from the Greek γῆ, gê, "earth" and λόγος, logos, "study") is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change.
Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the geology of the Moon or geology of Mars).
Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates.
Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences.