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Chapter 12: Natural Resources

Difficulty Level: Basic Created by: CK-12
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What is the source of most energy?

Almost all energy on Earth comes from the Sun. Plants make food energy from sunlight. Fossil fuels are made of the remains of plants that stored the Sun's energy millions of years ago. The Sun heats some areas more than others. This causes wind. The Sun's energy also drives the water cycle. In the water cycle, water moves over the Earth's surface. Both wind power and water power can be used. Earth's internal heat does not depend on the Sun for energy. This heat comes from remnant heat when the planet formed. It also comes from the decay of radioactive elements. Radioactivity is an important source of energy. Energy is just one category of natural resources. Materials, like metals and rock, are also natural resources. Plate tectonic processes are powered by Earth's internal heat. These processes help to create some resources. Weathering processes are driven by solar power. These processes help to create other resources.

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Chapter Summary


Natural resources include energy, minerals and other materials. Natural resources may be renewable or non-renewable. Non-renewable resources cannot be replaced. When they're gone, they're gone. Renewable resources can be replaced. They can supply human activities forever. Fossil fuels are crucial for modern human society. Fossil fuels are essential for transportation, industry and agriculture. Renewable energy resources tend to be clean. They emit fewer pollutants and greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. Renewable resources often have other problems. They are more costly and less efficient than fossil fuels. Still, they have many advantages. Research is going into developing renewable resources. Conservation is the best way to increase resource availability. Anyone can conserve! You and your family can. Society can. The world can. Just reduce, reuse, recycle.

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Difficulty Level:
6 , 7
Date Created:
Aug 10, 2015
Last Modified:
Aug 23, 2016
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