Resource Depletion An introduction
Resources • “features of the environment which are needed and used by people.” • Natural Resources - occur in the air, water and on land. • Human Resources - labour, skills, machinery and capital.
Non-Renewable Resources • Are said to finite or non-sustainable as their exploitation and use will eventually lead to their exhaustion.
Renewable resources • A flow of nature- being continuous, they can be used over and over again. • Sustainable- they are renewable and self generating if left to nature e.g. trees, fish • However, if renewable resources are overused their existence may be threatened.
Reserves • are a non-renewable resource (e.g. coal) which exists in a finite quantity in the crust of the earth
Fossil Fuels and Minerals • Coal, Oil and Gas are non-renewable resources created from organic matter • They are used to produce energy and are the quickest and easiest way of generating vast amounts of energy • 1 modern ‘fossil fuel’ power station produces the same amount of energy as: 300 wind turbines 150 km2 of solar panels 100 kms of powerful coastal wave energy
Future Reserves • Oil 40-45 years • Natural Gas 50-65 years • Coal 200-300 years • MEDC’s contain 25% of the world’s population BUT consume 70% of the world’s fuels!
Minerals • Many of these are generally not destroyed in use and can be recycled eg. Iron, Copper, Zinc, Tin