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Resources 3.2 3.3 Resources 3.2 3.3 Presentation Transcript

  • DP Environmental systems and societiesTopic 3 Human population carrying capacity and resource use
  • 3.2 RESOURCES—NATURAL CAPITAL
  • Natural capital Natural capital = natural resources eg. plants, soil, water, ores, organisms Natural income = the harvest or yields of the natural capital. May be renewable, non- renewable, or replenishable. Income may be goods and services - Goods such as timber and grain - Services such as flood and erosion protection, climate stabilization and soil fertility
  • 1. Renewable natural capital• Living – biotic renewal• Self-producing, self- maintaining• Uses solar energy and photosynthesis• Includes timber, climate regulation
  • 2. Non-renewable naturalcapital• Use reduces stock (except on a geologic timescale)• Includes minerals and fossil fuels
  • 3. Replenishable natural capital• Non-living –abiotic renewal• Often dependent on solar energy for renewal• Includes the groundwater and the ozone layer
  • What is a resource andwhen?
  • What intrinsic value do youplace on natural capital?? Versus Option – Topic 7 EVS activity
  • Sustainability Sustainability = using natural capital at a rate that allows natural regeneration and minimizes damage to the environment.
  • Sustainabledevelopment Sustainable development = development that meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs - 1987 Brundtland Report, United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WECD)
  • Copythisone
  • Sustainable yields Sustainable yield = rate of increase in natural capital which can be exploited without depleting the original stock or its potential for replenishment Time of original plus Time of original yield
  • Energy resources3.3 ENERGY RESOURCES
  • Energy resources
  • Energy comparisons Coal (animation) • Abundant supply (up to 250 years left) • Currently inexpensive to extract • Reliable and capable of generating large amounts of power • Emits major greenhouse gases/acid rain (contains up to 10% sulfur) • High environmental impact from mining and burning, although cleaner coal-burning technology is being developed • Mining can be dangerous for miners Oil (animation) • Efficient transportation fuel for the world • Basis of many products, from prescription drugs to plastics • Economical to produce • Easy to transport • High CO2 emissions • Found in limited areas • Supply may be exhausted before natural gas/coal resources (20-50 years left)
  • Energy comparisons Gas • Widely available • Cleanest-burning fossil fuel • Relatively cheap • Limited supply (about 70 years left) • Burns cleanly, but still has emissions (half of coal) • Pipelines impact ecosystems Nuclear fission (animation) • No greenhouse gases or CO2 emissions • Efficient at transforming energy into electricity • Higher capital costs due to safety, emergency, containment, radioactive waste, and storage systems • Problem of long-term storage of radioactive waste • Potential nuclear proliferation issue • Limited supply (about 80 years left)
  • Energy comparisons Hydroelectric (animation) • No emissions • Safe and reliable generation of large amounts of power • Reservoirs create water reserves and recreation • Environmental impacts by changing the environment in the dam area • Hydroelectric dams are expensive to build • Dams may be affected by drought Biofuels • Abundant supply with fewer emissions than fossil fuel sources • Can be long-term and sustainable • Source must be near usage to cut transportation costs • Emits some pollution as gas/liquid waste • Increases emissions of nitrogen oxides, an air pollutant • Competes with crops grown for food
  • Energy comparisons Solar (animation) (passive solar) • Non-polluting • Most abundant energy source available • Systems last 15-30 years • High initial investment • Supplemental energy may be needed in low sunlight areas Wind • No emissions • Affordable, relatively high output • Little disruption of ecosystems • Output is proportional to wind speed • Not feasible for all geographic locations • High initial investment/ongoing maintenance costs • Extensive land use
  • Energy comparisons Geothermal • Minimal environmental impact • Efficient • Power plants have low emissions • Low cost after the initial investment • Geothermal fields found in few areas around the world • Expensive start-up costs • Wells could eventually be depleted Tidal • Ideal for island countries • High output, no emissions • Initial cost high • May damage environment by reducing tidal flows
  • Energy choice MEDCs have technology to use nuclear energy MEDCs producing MEDCs most of the consuming pollution the most through coal energy
  • Energychoice:Highnaturalreserves
  • Energy choice Biomass – LEDCs have less access to modern energy sources