Skip Navigation

12.5: Natural Resources and Climate Change

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Turn In

Lesson 12.5: True or False

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Write true if the statement is true or false if the statement is false.

_____ 1. A natural resource is something supplied by nature that helps support life.

_____ 2. Biodiversity is an important natural resource.

_____ 3. Living things are considered to be nonrenewable — when they die, they cannot be replaced.

_____ 4. Renewable resources can be replenished by natural processes as quickly as humans use them.

_____ 5. Nonrenewable resources include fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, natural gas, soil and water.

_____ 6. Of all the water on Earth, only a few percent is fresh, liquid water.

_____ 7. The greenhouse effect is a artificial feature of Earth’s atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

_____ 8. Soil takes up to hundreds of millions of years to form.

_____ 9. Global warming is caused by too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

_____ 10. About 1 billion people worldwide do not have adequate freshwater.

_____ 11. Global warming has caused the decline in the polar bear population.

_____ 12. Bad ozone is causing the hole in the ozone layer to expand.

Lesson 12.5: Critical Reading

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Read these passages from the text and answer the questions that follow.

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere plays an important part in maintaining Earth’s freshwater supply. It is part of the water cycle. It refills lakes and rivers with precipitation. The atmosphere also provides organisms with gases needed for life. It contains oxygen for cellular respiration and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.

Air Pollution

Earth’s atmosphere is vast. However, it has been seriously polluted by human activities. Air pollution consists of chemical substances and particles released into the atmosphere, mainly by human actions. The major cause of outdoor air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels. Power plants, motor vehicles, and home furnaces all burn fossil fuels and contribute to the problem (see Table below). Ranching and using chemicals, such as fertilizers, also cause air pollution. Erosion of soil in farm fields and construction sites adds dust particles to the air as well. Fumes from building materials, furniture, carpets, and paint add toxic chemicals to indoor air.

Pollutant Problems
Pollutant Example/Major Source Problem
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) Motor vehicle exhaust Acid Rain
Carbon monoxide (CO) Motor vehicle exhaust Poisoning
Carbon dioxide (CO2) All fossil fuel burning Global Warming
Smog Coal burning Respiratory problems; eye irritation
Ground-level ozone Motor vehicle exhaust Respiratory problems; eye irritation

In humans, air pollution causes respiratory and cardiovascular problems. In fact, more people die each year from air pollution than from automobile accidents. Air pollution also affects ecosystems worldwide by causing acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming. Ways to reduce air pollution from fossil fuels include switching to nonpolluting energy sources (such as solar energy) and using less energy. What are some ways you could use less energy?

Ozone Depletion

There are two types of ozone. You can think of them as bad ozone and good ozone. Both are affected by air pollution.

  • Bad ozone forms near the ground when sunlight reacts with pollutants in the air. Ground-level ozone is harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals.
  • Good ozone forms in a thin layer high up in the atmosphere, between 15 and 35 kilometers above Earth’s surface. This ozone layer shields Earth from most of the sun’s harmful UV radiation. It plays an important role in preventing mutations in the DNA of organisms.

Unfortunately, the layer of good ozone is being destroyed by air pollution. The chief culprits are chlorine and bromine gases. They are released in aerosol sprays, coolants, and other products. Loss of ozone has created an ozone hole over Antarctica. Ozone depletion results in higher levels of UV radiation reaching Earth. In humans, this increases skin cancers and eye cataracts. It also disturbs the nitrogen cycle, kills plankton, and disrupts ocean food webs. The total loss of the ozone layer would be devastating to most life. Its rate of loss has slowed with restrictions on pollutants, but it is still at risk.


1. Describe two important roles of the atmosphere.

2. What is air pollution? What is the major cause of air pollution?

3. List three pollutants the burning of fossil fuels adds to air. What are the sources of these three pollutants?

4. What is good ozone?

5. What are the major effects of the ozone hole?

Lesson 12.5: Multiple Choice

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Circle the letter of the correct choice.

  1. Which of the following is a nonrenewable resource?
    1. aluminum
    2. wind
    3. coal
    4. bamboo
  2. How much water on Earth is fresh, liquid water?
    1. 1%
    2. 2%
    3. 5%
    4. 10%
  3. A dead zone can form in areas where
    1. low oxygen levels have killed all ocean life.
    2. algal blooms have formed.
    3. in areas of excessive nutrient-enriched runoff.
    4. all of the above
  4. What is the major cause of outdoor air pollution?
    1. erosion of soil in farm fields
    2. excessive cigarette smoke
    3. the burning of fossil fuels
    4. excess acid rain
  5. Acid rain
    1. can disrupt homeostasis by altering protein function.
    2. can lower the pH of lakes.
    3. can cause the death of plants and aquatic organisms.
    4. all of the above
  6. The ozone hole
    1. results in higher levels of UV radiation reaching Earth.
    2. is located over the Arctic Circle.
    3. is being destroyed by the greenhouse effect.
    4. all of the above
  7. Global warming
    1. refers to a recent decrease in Earth’s average surface temperature.
    2. has caused a decrease in the greenhouse effect.
    3. is caused by more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    4. none of the above
  8. Effects of global climate change include
    1. the melting of glaciers and rising sea levels.
    2. more droughts and water shortages.
    3. increasing severity of storms.
    4. all of the above.

Lesson 12.5: Vocabulary I

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Match the vocabulary word with the proper definition.


_____ 1. something supplied by nature that helps support life

_____ 2. hole over Antarctica that results in higher levels of UV radiation reaching Earth

_____ 3. natural resources that exist in fixed amounts

_____ 4. the use of resources in a way that meets the needs of the present and preserves the resources for the future

_____ 5. precipitation that may damage soil and soil organisms

_____ 6. occurs where low oxygen levels have killed all ocean life

_____ 7. can be replenished by natural processes

_____ 8. consists of chemical substances and particles released into the atmosphere

_____ 9. a mixture of eroded rock, minerals, partly decomposed organic matter, and other materials

_____ 10. a recent increase in Earth’s average surface temperature

_____ 11. caused by an excessive growth of algae

_____ 12. occurs when gases in the atmosphere radiate the sun’s heat back down to Earth’s surface


a. acid rain

b. air pollution

c. algal bloom

d. dead zone

e. global warming

f. greenhouse effect

g. natural resource

h. nonrenewable resource

i. ozone hole

j. renewable resource

k. soil

l. sustainable use

Lesson 12.5: Vocabulary II

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

1. Petroleum, coal, and natural gas are ____________ resources.

2. All life relies on a relatively narrow range of ____________, or acidity.

3. A natural resource is something supplied by nature that helps support ____________.

4. The ____________ layer shields Earth from most of the sun’s harmful UV radiation.

5. ____________ resources are in no danger of being used up.

6. During the past century, the temperature has risen by almost ____________.

7. Of all the water on Earth, only ____________ percent is fresh, liquid water.

8. Most scientists agree that global warming is caused by an increase of ____________ in the atmosphere.

9. If acid ____________ falls into lakes, it lowers the pH of the water and kills aquatic organisms.

10. One of the biggest sources of water ____________ is runoff.

11. Global ____________ has resulted in a decline in cold-adapted species, such as polar bears.

12. Without the ____________ effect, Earth’s surface temperature would be too cold to support life.

Lesson 12.5: Critical Writing

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Thoroughly answer the question below. Use appropriate academic vocabulary and clear and complete sentences.

Distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
Files can only be attached to the latest version of section
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original