Study Guide for Natural Resources Test Nonrenewable resources: Nonrenewable resources are resources that cannot be replaced by natural processes in 100 years. (Examples: coal, petroleum (oil), natural gas, propane, and uranium) (Nonrenewable resources pollute the environment but are less expensive and easy to find.) Renewable resources: Renewable resources are resources that can be replaced by natural processes in 100 years or less. (Examples: Biomass, Hydropower, Geothermal, Wind, and Solar) (Most renewable resources do not pollute the environment but are more expensive.) Biomass What is biomass? plant and animal matter, such as wood, corn, sewage and waste food Advantages It helps get rid of waste, which can cause smell and pollution. Waste is another word for garbage and it is deposited in landfills. Disadvantages Burning biomass creates small amounts of air pollution. If trees aren’t grown for fuel, and re-planted, the result is deforestation. If a forestry company cuts down trees along the river and sells them to lumber companies then the forest company should replant trees on the land after clearing it to ensure resources are protected and restored. Geothermal What is geothermal? thermal energy stored deep within the Earth Advantages The everyday costs for running a geothermal power station are very low. Disadvantages It is difficult to find sites for geothermal power stations because the rocks have to be hot enough. Need to be close to the source. Hydropower What is hydroelectricity? When we use the energy in flowing water to produce electricity, we call it hydroelectricity. Three types of hydropower: Hydroelectric dams- trap flowing water and then release it again under greater pressure. Advantages Electricity can be generated only when needed, because the water can be stored. Disadvantages Destroys habitats for people, fish and wildlife. Places large enough to build dams are hard to find. Waves- contain enough energy to produce electricity. Advantages Wave-energy generators are capable of producing large amounts of energy. Disadvantages Wave-energy generators may be a hazard to ships. Tides-The rising and falling of the sea is caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon. Advantages The amount of electricity and the time when it is produced is very predictable. Disadvantages Only provides energy for about 10 hours each day, as the tide moves in and out. Solar What is solar? energy from the sun Advantages Solar energy can be used to generate electricity in remote places. Disadvantages Solar panels are affected by clouds and don’t work at night. Expensive to build and run solar stations. Wind What is wind? movement of air due to differences in air temperature and pressure Advantages The land occupied by a wind farm can still be used for farming. Disadvantages No wind, no power. Wind farms create a constant low-level noise. They can harm birds and interrupt television reception. Recycling, Reducing and Reusing Using the three R’s of waste management can help reduce solid waste. Recycling– converting waste products into reusable materials. Reducing- means to avoid making garbage in the first place; you don't have to worry about disposing of waste or recycling it later. Reusing– using products more than one time for the same purpose. Conservation Conservation policies create standards of maintaining and restoring a healthy Earth environment. Recycling aluminum soda cans is an example of energy conservation. In the future, more cars may provide energy savings by running on solar power. Conservation begins with individual acts of stewardship; every individual taking responsibility and making a personal choice to do his or her part. An example of a positive personal choice you could make to improve the environment would be to recycle bottles and cans you use during lunch. An example of a world-wide environmental choice would be many countries meeting to discuss the ozone layer. It is important not to deplete natural resources before they can reproduce. (Ex. If fish are caught faster than they can breed, their populations will decrease.) Factories can conserve water by reusing it to cool hot machinery. Pouring used motor oil on the ground would have a negative impact on the environment. When we consider the following we are thinking in terms of “cost/benefit tradeoffs” The costs that result from regulations, such as those that reduce or limit pollution, can include higher prices for consumer goods and higher taxes. The benefits of conservation regulations (laws) include reduced human and wildlife mortality (death), improved water quality, species preservation, and better recreation opportunities. Waste management and natural resource protection are less costly than cleanup and replacement.