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Energy Sources

Fossil Fuels
Coal, Oil and Gas are
called "fossil fuels"
because they have been
formed from the fossilized remains of
prehistoric plants and animals.
They provide around 66% of the world's
electrical power, and 95% of the world's total
energy demands
How Fossil Fuels
Coal is crushed to a fine
dust and burnt. Oil and
gas can be burnt directly.

Burn fuel> heat water to make steam>

steam turns turbine>turbine turns
generator>electrical power
sent around the country
Coal provides around
28% of our energy, and
oil provides 40%.

Crude oil (called "petroleum")

is easier to get out of the ground
than coal, as it can flow
along pipes. This also
makes it cheaper
to transport.
Natural gas
provides around
20% of the world's
consumption of
Advantages to Using Fossil Fuels
Very large amounts of electricity can be
generated in one place using coal, fairly
Transporting oil and gas to the power stations
is easy.
Gas-fired power stations are very efficient.

A fossil-fuelled power
station can be built
almost anywhere
Disadvantages of Using Fossil Fuels

Basically, the main drawback of fossil fuels is

Burning any fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide, which
contributes to the "greenhouse effect", warming the
Burning coal produces sulphur dioxide, a gas that
contributes to acid rain.
With the United States importing 55% of its oil, oil
spills are a serious problem
Mining coal can be difficult and dangerous. Strip
mining destroys large areas of the landscape.
Some power stations are built on the
coast, so they can use sea water to cool
the steam instead. However, this warms
the sea and can affect the environment,
although the fish seem to like it.
Is it Renewable?

Fossil fuels are NOT a

renewable energy resource
Once we've burned them all, there isn't any
more, and our consumption of fossil fuels has
nearly doubled every 20 years since 1900.
This is a particular problem for Oil, because
we also use it to make plastics and many
other products.
Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is
generated using Uranium, which is a metal
mined in various parts of the world.
Nuclear power produces around 11% of the
world's energy needs, and produces huge
amounts of energy from small amounts of
fuel, without the pollution that you'd get from
burning fossil fuels.
How Nuclear Power Works
Nuclear fission makes heat>heated
water makes steam>steam turns
turbines>turbines turn
generators>electrical power is sent
around the country
The reactor uses Uranium rods as fuel, and
the heat is generated by nuclear fission.
Neutrons smash into the nucleus of the
uranium atoms, which split roughly in half
and release energy in the form of heat.
Advantages to Using Nuclear Power
Nuclear power costs about the same as coal, so
it's not expensive to make.
Does not produce smoke or carbon dioxide, so it
does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.
Produces huge amounts of energy from small
amounts of fuel.
Produces small amounts
of waste.
Nuclear power is reliable.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power
Although not much waste is produced, it is
very, very dangerous.
It must be sealed up and buried for many
years to allow the radioactivity to die away.
Is it Renewable?

Nuclear energy from Uranium is

NOT renewable.

Once we've dug up all the Earth's uranium

and used it, there isn't any more.
Solar Power
Solar Cells really
called photovoltaic" or
"photoelectric" cells) convert light directly
into electricity.
In a sunny climate, you can get enough
power to run a 100W light bulb from just
one square meter of solar panel.
Solar Water
heat from the Sun is
used to heat water in
glass panels on your roof.
Solar heating is worthwhile in places
like California and Australia, where you
get lots of sunshine.

use a huge array of mirrors to concentrate the

Sun's energy into a small space and produce
very high temperatures.
Advantages to solar power
Solar energy is free - it needs no fuel and
produces no waste or pollution.
In sunny countries, solar power can be used
where there is no easy way to get electricity
to a remote place.
Handy for low-power uses such as solar
powered garden lights and battery chargers
to Solar Power
Doesn't work at night.
Very expensive to build solar power
Solar cells cost a great deal compared to
the amount of electricity they'll produce in
their lifetime.
Can be unreliable unless you're in a very
sunny climate.
Is Solar Power Renewable?
Solar power is renewable.

The Sun will keep on shining anyway,

so it makes sense to use it.
Wind Power
We've used the wind as an energy
source for a long time.
The Babylonians and Chinese were
using wind power to pump water for irrigating crops
4,000 years ago, and sailing boats were around long
before that.
Wind power was used in the Middle Ages, in
Europe, to grind corn, which is where the term
"windmill" comes from.
How Wind Power
The Sun heats our atmosphere unevenly, so
some patches become warmer than others.
These warm patches of air rise, other air
blows in to replace them - and we feel a wind
We can use the energy in the wind by
building a tall tower, with a large propellor on
Advantages to Wind power
Wind is free, wind farms need no fuel.
Produces no waste or greenhouse
The land beneath can usually still be
used for farming.
Wind farms can be tourist attractions.
A good method of supplying energy to
remote areas.
Disadvantages of Wind Power
The wind is not always predictable
some days have no wind.
Suitable areas for wind farms are
often near the coast, where land
is expensive.
Some people feel that covering
the landscape with these towers is unsightly.
Can kill birds - migrating flocks tend to like strong
winds. Splat!
Can affect television reception if you live nearby.
Noisy. A wind generator makes a constant, low,
"swooshing" noise day and night.
Is Wind Power

Wind power is renewable.

Winds will keep on blowing,
it makes sense to use them.

A dam is built to trap water, usually in a

valley where there is an existing lake.
Water is allowed to flow through tunnels
in the dam, to turn turbines and thus
drive generators.
Hydro-electricity provides 20% of the
worlds power
Advantages of
Once the dam is built, the
energy is virtually free.
No waste or pollution produced.
Much more reliable than wind, solar or wave power.
Water can be stored above the dam ready to cope
with peaks in demand.
Hydro-electric power stations can increase to full
power very quickly, unlike other power stations.
Electricity can be generated constantly.
Disadvantages to
The dams are very
expensive to build.
Building a large dam will flood a very large
area upstream, causing problems for animals
that used to live there.
Finding a suitable site can be difficult - the
impact on residents and the environment may
be unacceptable.
Water quality and quantity downstream can
be affected, which can have an impact on
plant life.
Is it Renewable?
Hydro-electric power
is renewable.

The Sun provides the water by

evaporation from the sea, and will
keep on doing so.
How Biomass Works
Plant and animal waste is used to
produce fuels such as methanol,
natural gas, and oil. We can use
rubbish, animal manure, woodchips,
seaweed, corn stalks and other wastes.
Sugar cane is harvested and taken to a mill, where it is crushed
to extract the juice. The juice is used to make sugar, whilst the
left-over pulp, called "bagasse" can be burned in a power
Other solid wastes, can be burned to provide heat, or used to
make steam for a power station.
Burn fuel>heat water to make steam>steam turns
turbine>turbine turns generator>electrical power sent
around the country
Advantages to

It makes sense to use waste materials

where we can.
The fuel tends to be cheap.
Less demand on the Earth's resources.
Disadvantages to Using Biomass

Collecting the waste in

sufficient quantities can be
We burn the fuel, so
it makes greenhouse gases.
Some waste materials are not available
all year round.
Is It

Biomass is renewable

We will always make waste products.

We can always plant & grow more sugar cane
and more trees, so those are renewable too.
Geothermal Power

Hot rocks underground heat

water to produce steam.
We drill holes down to the hot region, steam
comes up, is purified and used to drive
turbines, which drive electric generators.
There may be natural "groundwater" in the hot
rocks anyway, or we may need to drill more
holes and pump water down to them.
Advantages to
Geothermal Power
Geothermal energy does not
produce any pollution, and
does not contribute to the
greenhouse effect.
The power stations do not take up much room, so
there is not much impact on the environment.
No fuel is needed.
Once you've built a geothermal power station, the
energy is almost free.
It may need a little energy to run a pump, but this can
be taken from the energy being generated.
Disadvantages to
Geothermal Power
The big problem is that there are not many places
where you can build a geothermal power station.
You need hot rocks of a suitable type, at a depth
where we can drill down to them.
The type of rock above is also important, it must be of
a type that we can easily drill through.
Sometimes a geothermal site may "run out of steam",
perhaps for decades.
Hazardous gases and minerals may come up from
underground, and can be difficult to safely dispose of.
Is it Renewable?
Geothermal energy is renewable.
The energy keeps on coming, as long
as we don't pump too much cold water
down and cool the rocks too much.
Tidal Power

Tidal power works rather like a hydro-electric scheme,

except that the dam is much bigger.
A huge dam (called a "barrage") is built across a river
estuary. When the tide goes in and out, the water flows
through tunnels in the dam.
The ebb and flow of the tides can be used to turn a
turbine, or it can be used to push air through a pipe,
which then turns a turbine. Large lock gates, like the
ones used on canals, allow ships to pass.
Only around 20 sites in the world have been identified a
possible tidal power stations.
Advantages to Tidal Power
Once you've built it, tidal power is free.
It produces no greenhouse gases or
other waste.
It needs no fuel.
It produces electricity reliably.
Not expensive to maintain.
Tides are totally predictable.
Disadvantages to
Tidal Power

A barrage across an estuary is very expensive to build,

and affects a very wide area - the environment is
changed for many miles upstream and downstream.
Many birds rely on the tide uncovering the mud flats so
that they can feed. there are few suitable sites for tidal

Only provides power for around 10 hours each day,

when the tide is actually moving in or out.
Is it Renewable?
energy is

The tides will

continue to ebb
and flow, and
the energy is
there for the
Which Energy Sources are
Produced in the California
Central Valley?

Biomass Wind Power

Fossil Fuels
The Renewable Energy Map Potential in the Philippines





Environmental Systems & Society
Soil Resources
(Ch. 12)
Soil Characteristics
Understand what soil is and how it forms. Compare
and contrast the characteristics of different soils.
What type do you have around your house?
1) clay = layer silicates that are formed as
products of chemical weathering of other
silicate minerals at the earth's surface. They
are found most often in shales, the most
common type of sedimentary rock.
2) silt = rock worn into tiny pieces (coarser
than clay, but finer than sand). usually 1/20
millimeter or less in diameter
3) sand = quartz or silica worn down over
time. grains with diameters between 0.06 mm
to 2 mm
4) organic matter (humus)
5) Loam = soil containing a mixture of clay,
sand, silt and humus. Good for growing most
Soil Porosity and
Porosity - volume of water that fits between the soil particles
Permeability - rate of flow of water through soil
% retention - how much water is trapped by soil
Porosity and Permeability are directly related; when one is high, the other
is high as well. % water retention is inversely related to both.
1) Clay - porosity permeability, retention

2) Silt - porosity, permeability, retention

3) Sand - porosity, permeability, retention

4) Organic matter - porosity, permeability,

Soil Horizons
Soil Horizons
Soil Conservation
Explain what soil erosion is. Describe its
causes and effects. List and describe various
soil conservation methods.
Soil moves.due to
water, wind, people
Loss of topsoilthe
most fertile
Soil ends up as
sediment in water
Soil IS
does it come from?
Salinization &
Salinization &
List and describe some of the pros and
cons of using fertilizers. What different
sorts of fertilizers are available?
manure adds N and soil bacteria & fungi
green manure
mushroom spores
Inorganic1/4th of the worlds crops depend
on this.
N, K, P

Experimental data comparing methods!

Soil Formation
Soil formation - Parent material is slowly broken down by biological,
chemical and physical weathering.

Biological - Respiration of plant roots and other organisms

produce CO2, which reacts with soil water to produce carbonic acid
Chemical - Acids crack rocks water seeps in breaks
down particles.
Physical - Weathering introduces water that breaks down
Time scale - Formation of 2.5 cm of topsoil takes 200 - 1000 yrs.
Soil Formation
Soil Composition
Soil Composition
45% Mineral particles (broken down pieces of rock)
5% Organic matter (humus - from dead organisms, worm castings, leaf litter)
25% Water (precipitation)
25% Air (More with sandy soil, less with clay soil)
Soil organisms - Millions in one teaspoon of fertile agricultural soil!
- bacteria, fungi, algae, microscopic worms.
provide ecological services such as worm castings,
decomposition to humus, breaking down of toxic
materials, cleansing water, nutrient cycling from
decomposers or upon death
Soil Composition
Soil Texture
Loam - ideal agricultural soil
40% sand (larger - structural support, aeration,
40% silt (smaller - holds nutrient minerals and water)
20% clay (even smaller - holds nutrient minerals and
Plants grown in sandy soils
More susceptible to mineral deficiencies and drought
Plants grown in clay soils
More susceptible to waterlogging, and oxygen depletion
(think small pore size, low porosity)
Soil Texture Triangle
Soil Acidity (pH)
pH - concentration of H+ ions
Scale - From 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic, or alkaline)
pH of most healthy soils - 4 - 8
pH matters because it affects solubility of nutrient minerals
Aluminum and Manganese are more soluble in low pH - roots
sometimes absorb too much (toxic levels)
Soil pH affects leaching - high pH increases leaching of
important ions such as K+
Causes of changes - acid rain, decomposition, leaf litter, mining (acid
sulfate soils)
- Too high pH, add acidic leaf litter
- Too low pH, add lime
Soil Nutrients (NPK)
Soil Nutrients (NPK)
Organic - animal manure, bone meal, compost (slow-acting, long-lasting)
Delay in availability to plants, needs time for the organic
material to decompose
Delay causes low level of nutrient leaching
Improves water holding capacity
Inorganic - Manufactured from chemical compounds (fast-acting, short-lasting)
Highly soluble so immediately available to plants
High solubility also makes it leach quickly (pollutes water)
Suppresses growth of microorganisms
Source of nitrogen gases that increase air pollution
Production requires much energy from fossil fuels, increasing
CO2 emissions.
Inorganic Fertilizer
Organic Fertilizer
Fresh Water resources
Global Overview
While 67% of Earths surface is covered by
water, only less than 2.7% of global water is
freshwater. Most of the freshwater (2.05%)
are locked in ice caps and glaciers. Only
less than 0.7% is available for human use.
Over two thirds of the
earth's surface is covered
with water, 97.2% of which
is contained in the five
oceans. The Antarctic ice
sheet, containing 90% of all
fresh water on the planet, is
visible at the bottom.
Atmospheric water vapour
can be seen as clouds,
contributing to the earth's
Iceberg and Polar cap store most of the fresh water
on Earth
Volume of water stored in
the water cycle's reservoirs
Reservoir Volume of water Percent
(106 km) of total

Ocean 1370 97.25

Ice caps & glaciers 29 2.05

Groundwater 9.5 0.68

Lakes 0.125 0.01

Soil Moisture 0.065 0.005
Scarcity of fresh water
On a global basis, fresh water is a
increasingly scarce resource. It is partially
caused by increasing population coupled by
change of consumption pattern and climate
Water consumption for food
production (I)
Meat production use a lot of water when
compared to growing food crops.
A shift in food consumption pattern toward
more meat consumption will cause a
substantial increase in water consumption.
Water consumption for food
production (II)
Competing water uses (I)
Competing water uses (II)
Industrialized / developed countries tend to
use more water in their industrial
Other countries tend to use more water for
agricultural uses.
Fresh Water supply
Problems related to Water crisis
Inadequate access to safe drinking water by
over 1.1 billion people
Groundwater overdrafting leading to
diminished agricultural yields
Overuse and pollution of water resources
harming biodiversity
Regional conflicts over scarce water
resources sometimes resulting in warfare.
Threats to fresh water resources

Climate change causes change in

frequencies of droughts and floods.
Depletion of aquifers caused by over-
consumption as a result of population
Pollution and contamination by sewage,
agricultural and industrial runoff.
Distribution of population and water
Pressure of freshwater ecosystem
Fresh Water Outlook
Estimated from existing data, some
countries are going to experience serious
shortage of fresh water supply in the
coming 20 years time.
China, India and South Africa and Middle
East countries may among the most
adversely affected countries.
Water in China
According to the World Bank forecast, Mainland China
has only a per-capita share of 2700 cubic meters per
annum, one fourth of the world's average at present.
Half of China's 617 largest cities face water deficits.
Beijing is among the most water-short.
The areas south of the Yangtze River, China's longest,
which account for only 36.5 per cent of the country's total
territory, have 80.9 per cent of its total water resources.
However the areas north of the Yangtze, which make up
63.5 per cent of China, possess only 19.1 per cent of total
water resources.
Desalination of sea water as fresh
water supply
Desalination of sea water can be done either
via distillation or membrane process.
Both process requires large amount of
energy and thus costly, which means
desalination remains an expensive option
for providing reliable fresh water supply,
restricted to only economically well-off