Natural resources and pollution

Global natural assets, fixed and finite, e.g. minerals and fossil hydrocarbons. Predicted problems associated with resource depletion coupled with estimated population growth (11 billion by 2050).

'Soft' assets: soil, oceans, forests, troposphere.

Processes: photosynthesis, hydrological cycle and carbon cycle, soil formation and waste assimilation.

Problems associated with pollution, e.g. acid rain and low level ozone. Soil erosion and oxidation. Soil exhaustion through intensive use of agrochemicals. Salination as a consequence of hydroelectric schemes and runoff. Continued deforestation in tropical and temperate rain forests.

Contaminated land and remediation strategies.

Nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning of nuclear power stations.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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