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Unit 1 : The Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies

Definition, scope and importance, Need for public awareness.

Unit : 2 : Natural Resources

Renewable and non-renewable resources : Natural resources and
associated problems.
(a) Forest resources : Use and over-exploitation, deforestation, case
studies. Timber extraction, mining, dams and their effects on forests
and tribal people.
(b) Water resources : Use and over-utilization of

surface and ground

water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams-benefits and

(c) Mineral resources : Use and exploitation, environmental effects of
extracting and using mineral resources, case studies.
(d) Food resources : World food problems, changes caused by
agriculture and over-grazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizerpesticide problems, water logging, salinity, case studies.

(f ) Land resources : Land as a resource, land degradation, man induced

landslides, soil erosion and desertification.
. Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources.
. Equitable use of resources for sustainable life styles.
Unit 3 : Ecosystems
. Concept of an ecosystem.
. Structure and function of an ecosystem.
. Producers, consumers and decomposers.
. Energy flow in the ecosystem.
. Ecological succession.
. Food chains, food webs and ecological pyramids
. Introduction, types, characteristic features, structure and function of
the following ecosystem :
(a) Forest ecosystem
(b) Grassland ecosystem
(c) Desert ecosystem
(d) Aquatic ecosystem (ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, oceans, estuaries).

Unit 4 : Bio-diversity and its Conservation

. Introduction, Definition : genetic, species and ecosystem
. Biogeographical classification of India.
. Value of biodiversity : consumptive use, productive use, social,
ethical, aesthetic and option values.
. Biodiversity at global, national and local levels.
. India as a mega-diversity nation.
. Hot-spots of biodiversity.
. Threats to biodiversity : habitat loss, poaching of wildlife,
man-wildlife conflicts.
. Endangered and endemic species of India.
. Conservation of biodiversity : In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of

Unit 5 : Environmental Pollution

Definition, Causes, effects and control measures of :
(a) Air pollution
(b) Water pollution
(c) Soil pollution
(d) Marine pollution
(e) Noise pollution
(f ) Thermal pollution
(g) Nuclear hazards.
. Solid waste management : Causes, effects and control measures of
urban and industrial wastes.
. Role of an individual in prevention of pollution.
. Pollution case studies.
. Disaster management : floods, earthquake, cyclone and landslides.

Unit 6 : Social Issues and the Environment

. From Unsustainable to Sustainable development.
. Urban problems related to energy.
. Water conservation, rain water harvesting, watershed
. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people: its problems and

Case studies.

. Environmental ethics: Issues and possible solutions.

. Climate change, global warming, acid rain, ozone layer depletion,
nuclear accidents and holocaust. Case studies.
. Wasteland reclamation.
. Consumerism and waste products.
. Environment Protection Act.
. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
. Wildlife Protection Act.
. Forest Conservation Act.

Unit 7 : Human Population and Environment

. Population growth, variation among nations.
. Population explosion, Family Welfare Programme.
. Environment and human health.
. Human Rights.
. Value Education.
. Women and Child Welfare.
. Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health.
. Case Studies.
Unit 8 : Field Work
. Visit to a local area to document environmental assets---river,
forest grassland/hill/mountain.
. Visit to a local polluted site----Urban/Rural/Industrial/
. Study of common plants, insects and birds.
. Study of simple ecosystems----pond, river, hill slopes etc

Unit 1
The Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental

At the end of this unit, you will be able to

Define/state the term environment

Explain the interdisciplinary nature of environmental
Identify the scopes of environmental studies
Know the organizations and people involved/engaged
on environmental aspects

French word Environner------ to encircle or surround.




Water SoilMaterial Plant Animal Microbes

Environment is the physical and biological surroundings of

an organism including their interactions

The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies

Life Science
(Biology, biochemistry,
Microbiology etc)

Basic and
Applied Studies

Physical Science,
(physics, chemistry,
Earth science, Atmospheric

Environmental Studies Technology

Civil, Chemical,
Hydraulics ,Nano
Management and
Computer science
Economics, Sociology, Law,
Education, Management, Mass

Scope of Environmental Studies

Areas which mainly include:
Natural Resource- Conservation and Management
Ecology and Biodiversity
Environment Pollution and Control
Economic development and associate socio-cultural
Human population and environment.

Wide Application
Research and Development: R & D -- on pollution control
technology, clean fuel development, sustainable agricultural practice,
carbon credit
Green advocacy: environmental lawyers, who can enforce various
acts/laws (PIL)
Green marketing: Quality goods/products , ISO, ECO marks.
Green media: Advertising --mass media which include print media
and electronic media are Important means of spreading awareness
about environment pollution and conservation.
Green Consultancy: Hiring of experts by industries

Importance of Environment
Environment: belong to
Gobal Nature
Local Nature
Individualistic Nature

Need for public Awareness

Why ?

Our ecological footprint

Ecological footprint:
the environmental impact of a
person or population
The area of biologically
productive land + water
People in rich nations have
much larger ecological

If everyone consumed the amount of resources the U.S. does, we would need
4.5 Earths!

s are not
all equal

Overshoot: humans have surpassed the Earths capacity to support

We are using renewable resources 30%

faster than they are being replenished

International efforts: First international focus on environment at

Stockholm Conference--on 5th 1972
World Environment Day--- 5th June
Earth Summit----Rio de Janeiro in 1992
World Submit on Sustainable Development, 2002
Montreal Protocol: Depletion of Ozone Layer, Montreal, 1989
Kyoto protocol: in 1997, come in force in 2005.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in
recognition of the problem of global warming.
Nobel peace prize in 2004 to Ms. Wangari Maathai) and

Institutions in Environment
The Government organizations are as follows,

Non-Government Organizations
BNHS: Bombay Natural History Society (
WWF-I : World Wide Fund for Natural India, New Delhi (
CSE: Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi (
CEE: Centre for Environmental Education, Ahemadabad (
Kalpavriksh, Pune (
SACON: Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology, Coimbatore (

People in Environment
The following are the well-known names in the last
century include environmentalists, administrators, legal
experts, educationalists, and journalists.

Indira Gandhi
Madhav Gadgil
Anil Agarwal
Medha Patkar
Sunderlal Bahuguna

Indira Gandhi
As PM played a very significant role in
the preservation of Indias Wild
During her period, the network and
protected areas grew from 65 to
Wild life protection act was
formulated during her period.

Was one of the Indias greatest
supporter of wild life
conservation and nature awareness
Between 1975 and 1999, received 10
awards for his conservation
activities, he was awarded the
Padmabhushan in 1999.

M S Swaminathan

One of the Indias foremost

agricultural scientists.
Founded the MS Swaminathan
Research Foundation in Chennai

Madhav Gadgil
Well known ecologist in India.
His interests range from broad
ecological issues such as developing
community Biodiversity registers
studies on the behaviour of
mammals, birds, and insects.
He was written several articles,
published papers in journals

Indias most famous environmental
Since 1984, he has filed several public
interest litigations for supporting the
cause of environmental conservation.
His most famous and long-drawn battles
supported by the supreme court include
protecting the Tajmahal, cleaning up
the Ganges river..

Anil Agarwal
Was a journalist who wrote the first
report on the state of Indias
Environment in 1982.
He founded the CES, an active NGO
that supports various environmental

Medha Patkar
Known as one of rural Indias
Champions, has supported the cause
of the downtrodden tribal people
whose environment is being affected
by the dams on the Narmada River.

Sunderlal Bahuguna

His chipko movement has become an

internationally well-known example of a
highly successfully conservation action
program through the efforts of local
people for guarding their forest resources.
His fight to prevent the construction of
Tehri dam in a fragile earthquake-prone
setting is a battle that continues to wage

International Environmental Thinkers

Charles Darwin(wrote Origin of Species)

Ralph Emerson (spoke of the dangers of commerce to our

environment in 1840s)

Henry Thoreau (wrote that the wilderness should be preserved in


John Muir (saved the great ancient sequoia trees in Californias

forests; he formed Sierra club in 1890s)

Aldo Leopold (designed the early policies on wilderness

conservation and wildlife management in 1920s)

Rachel Carson (wrote Silent Spring;several articles on effects of

pesticides on nature and mankind)

EO Wilson (entomologist and wrote Diversity of Life in 1993)

Environmental science
Can help us avoid mistakes made by past civilizations
Human survival depends on how we interact with
our environment.
Our impacts are now global.
Many great civilizations have fallen after depleting
their resources.

The lesson of Easter

Island: people
annihilated their culture
by destroying their
environment. Can we act
more wisely to conserve
our resources?

Will we develop in a sustainable way?

sustainable solutions that meet
Environmental protection
Economic goals
Social equity

We must make an ethical commitment to

current and future generations

17th Century has been described as the


18th Century is considered as the


19th Century was


20th Century was AGE OF STRESS

Will 21st Century be

Age of Panic or Age of Peace?

You have to decide.

Natural Resources

What are the Earths Natural

Natural resource-Anything that people
can use comes from
People do not makeit
but gather them from
the nature
coal, crops, wildlife

Resource which is replaced

naturally and can be used

Resource consumed much

faster than nature can
create them

Major Natural Resources

Forest Resources
Water Resources
Mineral Resources
Food Resources
Energy Resources
Land Resources


Forest resources
Forest resources-Indian Scenario
Functions of forests
Importance of forests
Ecological and Economical Importance
Types of Forests
Deforestation Causes & Effects
Forest Degradation in India

Forest Resources
The word forest is derived from a Latin word
Foris means Outside
Forest are one of the most important natural resources of the
Approximately 1/3rd of the earths total area is covered by

Indian Scenario
In India forest cover Overall, 23.1% of the country's
(as per 2012* data)
The total forest cover in India is 6,87,240 km2

Functions/Uses of Forests
The functions of forest may broadly classified into following
categories into
Commercial and Environmental

Commercial Use: commercial goods which include

timber, firewood, pulpwood, food items, gum, resins,
non-edible oils, rubber, fibers, lac, bamboo canes,
fodder, medicine, drugs

Economical Importance of
Timber: Wood used for commercial
purposes like for making furniture and
other items like boats, bridges and other
day to day uses.
Fuel Wood: The wood is used as fuel for
cooking and other purposes by poor
industries: forest provide raw material
for various wood based industries like
paper and pulp, sports goods, furniture,
match boxes etc.

Food: Fruits, roots, leaves of plants and trees along

with the meat of forest animals provide the food to the
tribal people.
Miscellaneous Products: Miscellaneous products
like, resin, gums, oils, medicines, Katha, honey are
provided by forests

Environmental/Ecological Use
Production of Oxygen
Reducing global warming
Wildlife habitat
Regulation of hydrological cycle
Soil conversation
Pollution moderators

Reduction of Global Warming

The main green house gas co2 is used by forests for
photosynthesis process the forest act as a sink for co2
there by reducing the green house effect due to co2

Absorption of air pollutants

Forest absorbs many toxic gasses and air pollutants

and can help in keeping air pure.

absorb pollutants, including

benzene and formaldehyde.

Accessory Function


Humans have depended heavily on forests for food, medicine,
shelter, wood and fuel

The demands for raw material like timber, pulp, minerals, fuel wood
etc resulting in large scale logging, mining, road-building and
clearing of forests

Excessive use of fuel wood and charcoal

expansion of urban, agricultural and industrial areas
All together led to over-exploitation of our forests leading to their
rapid degradation.

Forest are exploited since early times for humans to
meet human demand
The permanent destruction of forest is called

Forest area of the world in 1900 was estimated to

be 7,000 million hectares
Reduced to 2890 million ha in 1975

Just 2,300 million ha by 2000

Causes of Deforestation
Population explosion is the root
cause of all the environmental
problems, vast area of forests

Shifting Cultivation: It is a
system widely practiced in north
eastern region of country in
which felling and burning of
forests followed by cultivation of
crop for few years and abandon
of cultivation allow forests for

Growing food demand: To meet the

food demand of rapidly growing
population more and more forests are
cleared off for agricultural purpose.

Fire wood: Increasing demand of

wood for fuel increases pressure on

Raw material for wood based

Increasing demand of wood for making
furniture, plywood, match box etc results
into tremendous pressure on forests.

Infrastructure development: Massive

destruction of forest occurs for various
infrastructure development like, big
dams, highways projects etc.
Forest fires: Forest fires may be natural
or man made cause a huge loss of forest
Over grazing: Overgrazing of land by
Natural forces: Floods, storms, heavy
winds, snow, lightening are some of the
natural forces

Effects of Deforestation

Deforestation adversely affects

damages the environment

Soil erosion: The soil gets washed

away with rain water on sloppy areas in
the absence of trees leading to soil

Expansion of deserts: Due to strong

winds laden by rock dust, land mass


Decrease in rainfall : In the absence

of forest, rainfall declines considerably
because forest bring rains due to high
rate of transpiration. It maintains
humidity in atmosphere
Loss of fertile land: Less rainfall
results into loss of fertile land owing to
less natural vegetation growth.
Effect on climate: Deforestation
induces global climate change.
Climate becomes warmer due to lack
of humidity in deforested areas, also
pattern of rainfall changes

Lowering of Water table: Lack of

recharging of underground reservoir,
results into lowering of water table
Economic Losses: Deforestation will
cause loss of industrial timber and
non timber products
Loss of biodiversity: Loss of flora
and fauna result into loss of biodiversity leading to disturbance in
ecological balance world wide.

Environmental changes: It will lead

concentration and other pollutants
which results in Global warming.

Forest Degradation in

At the beginning of 20


century about 30 % of land in

India was covered with forests but by the end of 20th

century the forest cover was reduced to 19.4%

As a result of exploitation, the tropical forest cover in

India, is now only reduced to coastal western Ghats and
northern India

We have a huge population size and a very low








compared to 0.64 ha/ capita of world forest area


The National forest policy has recommended 33 %

forest area for plains and 67 % for hills

The deforestation rate per unit population in India is

lowest among the major tropical countries

Major Activities in Forests

Timber Extraction & Mining
More than 80,000 ha of land of the country is under the
stress of mining activities
Large scale deforestation has been reported in Mussorie
and Dehradun valley due to indiscriminate mining of
various minerals over a length of about 40 Km
Mining in forests of Goa since 1961 has destroyed more
than 50,000 ha of forest land
Coal mining in Jharia, Raniganj and Singrauli areas have
caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand

Case Study
Disappearing Tea gardens in Chhota Nagpur
This hilly region used to be a good forested area
towards the turn of the century and used to receive
fairly frequent afternoon showers favouring tea
plantations. Following the destruction of forests,
rainfall declined in Chhota Nagpur to such an
extent that tea -gardens also disappeared from the

The Story of Kani Tribe:

Compensating Indigenous

In December 1987, a team of scientists was on a botanical

expedition to western Ghats in Kerala. They took with them a few
members of Kani Tribe as their guides. The scientists noticed that
the guides were eating a fruit that seemed to keep them energetic
even during the tough treks. When the scientists tried it, they too
felt a sudden flush of energy & strength.
Initially, the kani were reluctant to reveal any information about
the plant, saying that it was a sacred tribal secret that could not be
told to outsiders. After considerable persuasion, the tribals showed
the plant, Aarogyappacha as a source of fruit.
The scientists, who were from Tropical Botanic Garden and
specimens of the plants and conducted investigations. They found
anti-stress and other beneficial properties among the plants active
ingredients. Using Aarogyappacha, and three other medicinal
plants, they formulated a drug and gave it the name jeevani.

The Story of Kani Tribe: Compensating

Indigenous Knowledge

TBGRI gave the right to manufacture the drug to a private

company, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP) for a license fee of Rs
1,000,000 and a royalty of two percent. The institute, however,
wanted the kanis to get a part of the benefits as compensation for
sharing their knowledge of the plants and its properties. The Kanis
were to receive half the fee and half the royalty, this was the first
case of an indigenous community receiving compensation in
exchange for sharing their traditional knowledge of plants and
their uses.
The story of Kani tribe informs us about the rich resources &
knowledge, that the forests & the local tribes have, to offer,
provided they are protected and maintained in their natural form.

Dams and their effects on forests and tribal

India has more than 1550 large dams
The maximum in Maharashtra (more than 600)
followed by Gujarat (more then 250) and
Madhya Pradesh (130)










Uttaranchal and
The largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj
in H.P
several ecological problems including deforestation and
socio-economic problems related to tribal or native people

Dams and their effects on Forest and Tribal People contd.

A huge artificial lake is developed in the catchment area of that dam.
It is also known as back waters. The backwaters covering a large
surface area. Create a lot of ill-effects on the living environment.
Loss of forest which are submerged under the back waters of the dam.
It creates danger to the habitat of the wild life. The wild life are forced
to migrate.
It also affects the land under cultivation, in the catchment area as the
crops get submerged under water.
Disconnect the road network near around
Disease outbreak due to vector born diseases

Case Study
Sardar Sarovar Dam (Uprooted Forests And Tribals)
Dam is situated on river Narmada
Spread over three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
Project is aimed at providing irrigation water, drinking water and
electricity to the three states
But environmental impacts of the project have raised challenging
Total of 1,44,731 ha of land will be submerged by the dam
out of that 56,547 ha is forest land
Total of 573 villages are to be submerged by the Narmada Dam
Submergence area is very rich in wildlife
Estimates by Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi--- Narmada valley project
will lead to eventual displacement of more than one million people,
which is probably the largest rehabilitation issue ever encountered

Describe the ecological & economical importance of
What are the major causes and consequences of
deforestation ?


A blue planet:
not a drop to


Most of the Earth is covered by


Distribution of population
and water resources

It is estimated that by 2024, two-thirds of the world population would

be suffering from acute water shortage (UNO estimate , 2000)

Water consumption for food production

Certain Unique Features

(i) It exists as a liquid over a wide range of temperature i.e. from
0 to100C
(ii) has the highest specific heat, due to which it warms up and
cools down very slowly without causing shocks of temperature
jerks to the aquatic life
(iii) has a high latent heat of vaporization. Hence, it takes a huge
amount of energy for getting vaporized. That is why it produces
a cooling effect as it evaporates
(iv) an excellent solvent for several nutrients---as a very good
carrier of nutrients, including oxygen, essential for life.
(v) Due to high surface tension and cohesion it can easily rise
through great heights through the trunk even in the tall trees
(vi) It has an anomalous expansion behaviour i.e. as it freezes, it
expands instead of contracting and thus becomes lighter. It is
because of this property that even in extreme cold, the lakes
freeze only on the surface. Being lighter the ice keeps floating,

9.86% of the total fresh water resources
Was considered to be very pure some time back
Later found contaminated by leachates from sanitary landfills


A layer of sediment or rock that is highly permeable and

contains water
Unconfined aquifers: those into which water seeps from the ground
surface directly above theaquifer
Confined aquifers: which are sandwitched between two impermeable
layers of rock or sediments and are recharged only in those areas
where the aquifer intersects the land surface

Effects of Groundwater Usage

Ground Subsidence: Compactness of the sediments in the
aquifer when water withdrawal is more than the recharge rate
Results in the sinking of overlying land surface
Common problems include structural damage in buildings,
fracture in pipes, reversing the flow of canals

Lowering of water table:

Excessive mining of groundwater in

arid and semi-arid regions for irrigating crop fields is not advisable
because it would cause a sharp decline in future agricultural production, due
to lowering of water table.

Water logging: When excessive irrigation is done with brackish

water it raises the water table gradually leading to water-logging and salinity

Surface Water
Wateron thesurfaceof the planet like stream, river, lake, wetland, or
largely used for irrigation, industrial use, public water supply,
navigation etc
A countrys economy is largely dependent upon its rivers





A simple surface water budget

Precipitation Evaporation = Runoff + Storage

storage includes lots of things:

soil moisture, aquifers, reservoirs, withdrawals for
irrigation, glaciers, snowpack, etc.

A flood is too much water in the wrong place
Heavy rainfall often causes floods in the low-lying coastal areas
Deforestation, overgrazing, mining, rapid industrialization, global
warming etc. have also contributed largely to a sharp rise in the incidence of
floods, which otherwise is a natural disaster.
Floods have been regular features of some parts of India and
Bangladesh causing huge economic loss as well as loss of life.
In 1970, about one million people were drowned while 1,40,000
people died in 1991

A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water
There are about 80 countries in the world, lying in the arid and semiarid
regions that experience frequent spells of droughts, very often extending up
to year long duration


Anthropogenic causes: Drought is a meteorological (the interdisciplinary

scientific study of the atmosphere) phenomenon, but due to several
anthropogenic causes like over grazing, deforestation, mining etc. there
is spreading of the deserts tending to convert more areas to drought affected
Erroneous and intensive cropping pattern and increased exploitation
of scarce water resources through well or canal irrigation to get high
productivity has converted drought - prone areas into desertified ones
e.g., In Maharashtra there has been no recovery from drought for
the last 30 years due to over-exploitation of water by sugarcane
crop which has high water demands.

Remedial measures
selected mixed cropping
Social Forestry and Wasteland development but based on proper
understanding of ecological requirements and natural process,
otherwise it may even boomerang
Kolar district of Karnataka is one of the leaders in Social Forestry
with World Bank Aid but all its 11 talukas suffer from drought.
because the tree used for plantation here was Eucalyptus which is
now known to lower the water table because of its very high
transpiration rate.

Unequal distribution often led to inter-state or international

The Cauvery water dispute

Between Tamilnadu and Karnataka and the fighting is almost hundred
years old
Tamilnadu, occupying the downstream region of the river wants wateruse regulated in the upstream
the upstream state Karnataka refuses to do so and claims its primacy
over the river as upstream user
both the states have increasing demands for agriculture and industry
the consumption is more in Tamilnadu than Karnataka
On June 2,1990, the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal was set up which
through an interim award directed Karnataka to ensure that 205 TMCF
of water was made available in Tamil Nadus Mettur dam every year, till

For water conflicts:

Water conflict in the Middle East

Three river basins, namely the Jordan, the Tigris-Euphrates and the Nile are the
shared water resources for Middle East countries.
Ethiopia controls the head waters of 80% of Niles flow and plans to increase
it. Sudan too is trying to divert more water. This would badly affect Egypt,
which is a desert, except for a thin strip of irrigated cropland along the river
Nile and its delta. The population of Egypt is likely to double in the next 20
years, thereby increasing its water crisis.
Likewise there is a strong battle for water among Jordan, Syria and Israel for
the Jordan River water share.
Turkey has abundant water and plans to build 22 dams on Tigris-Euphrates
for Hydroelectric power generation. But, it would drastically reduce the flow
of water to Syria and Iraq, lying downstream. Turkey dreams to become the
regions water Super power. It plans to transport and sell water to starved
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Israel and Jordan. Probably, the next war in the


control flood and store flood water
used for diverting part or all of the water from river into a channel
mainly for drinking and agricultural purposes
for generating electricity
used for recreational purposes
Navigation and fishery can be developed

Environmental Problems
The upstream problems include the following:
(i) Displacement of tribal people
(ii) Loss of forests, flora and fauna
(iii) Changes in fisheries and the spawning grounds
(iv) Siltation and sedimentation of reservoirs
(v) Loss of non-forest land
(vi) Stagnation and waterlogging near reservoir
(vii) Breeding of vectors and spread of vector-borne
(viii) Reservoir induced seismicity (RIS) causing

Downstream problems
Water logging and salinity due to over irrigation
Reduced water flow and silt deposition in rivers
Micro-climatic changes
Since the sediments carrying nutrients gets deposited in the
reservoir, the fertility of the land along the river gets reduced
Due to structural defects or faulty design of the dam may cause
sudden dam failure leading to collapse and destruction to life and
property--Flash floods

flash food


A mineral is a naturally occurring substance of definite chemical composition

and characteristic physical properties
Examples: like quartz, feldspar, biotite, dolomite, calcite, laterite etc
An ore is a mineral or combination of minerals from which a useful substance,
such as a metal, can be extracted and used to manufacture a useful product.


Find use --- in domestic, agricultural, industrial and commercial
sectors and an important part of any nations economy
(i) Development of industrial plants and machinery.
(ii) Generation of energy e.g. coal, lignite, uranium.
(iii) Construction, housing, settlements.
(iv) Defence equipments-weapons
(v) Transportation means
(vi) Communication- telephone wires, cables, electronic devices.
(vii) Medicinal system- particularly in Ayurvedic System.
(viii) Formation of alloys for various purposes (e.g. phosphorite).
(ix) fertilizers, seed dressings and fungicides (e.g. zineb
containing zinc, Maneb-containing manganese etc.).
(x) Jewellery.e.g. Gold, silver, platinum, diamond.

Based on their properties, minerals are basically of two types:

(i) Metallic minerals e.g. Bauxite, laterite, haematite etc.
(ii)Non metallic minerals e.g. graphite, diamond, quartz, feldspar.
Minerals are sometimes classified as Critical and Strategic:
Critical minerals: essential for the economy of a nation
e.g. iron, aluminium, copper, gold etc.
Strategic minerals: required for the defence of a country
e.g. Manganese, cobalt, platinum, chromium etc.
Human beings has been using the metals since the very beginning of human
civilization for which two epochs of

human history are named after the

minerals--Bronze Age and Iron Age

Maximum use: Iron & steel followed by Mn, Cu, Cr, Al & Ni

Some Major Minerals of India

(a)Energy generating minerals:
Coal and lignite: West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, M.P., A.P.
Uranium (Pitchblende or Uranite ore): Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh (Nellore,
Nalgonda), Meghalaya, Rajasthan (Ajmer).
(b) Other commercially used minerals:
Aluminium (Bauxite ore): Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, M.P.,
Iron (haematite and magnetite ore): Jharkhand, Orissa, M.P., A.P., Tamilnadu,
Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.
Copper (Copper Pyrites): Rajasthan (Khetri), Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka,
M.P., West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttaranchal

Major reserves and important uses of some of the major metals

Major uses of some non-metallic minerals



Environmental concern arises from the impacts of extraction and

processing of minerals during mining, smelting etc.
Indian Scenario: India is the producer of 84 minerals the annual
value of which is about Rs. 50,000 crore. Six major mines which are
known for causing severe problems:
(i) Jaduguda Uranium Mine, Jharkhand, exposing local people to
radioactive hazards.
(ii) Jharia coal mines, Jharkhand, underground fire leading to land
subsidence and forced displacement of people.
(iii) Sukinda chromite mines, Orissa, seeping of hexavalent
chromium into river posing serious health hazard, Cr6+ being highly
toxic and carcinogenic.
(iv) Kudremukh iron ore mine, Karnataka, causing river pollution
and threat to biodiversity.
(v) East coast Bauxite mine, Orissa, Land encroachment and issue
of rehabilitation unsettled.
(vi) North-Eastern Coal Fields, Assam,Very high sulphur
contamination of groundwater.

Impacts of mining
surface mining
Mining from shallow deposits

sub-surface mining
Mining from deep deposits in

More destructive, dangerous and

expensive including risks of
occupational hazards and

Surface mining can use of any of the following

three types
Open-pit mining; machines dig holes and remove the ores (e.g. copper,
iron, gravel, limestone, sandstone, marble, granite).
Dredging: chained buckets and draglines are used which scrap up the
minerals from under-water mineral deposits.
Strip mining: ore is stripped off by using bulldozers, power shovels and
stripping wheels

Environmental Damage
Devegetation and defacing of landscape
Subsidence of land
mainly associated with underground mining
Results in tilting of buildings, cracks in houses, buckling of roads,
bending of rail tracks
Groundwater contamination
Sulphur, usually present as an impurity in many ores
get converted into sulphuric acid through microbial action
heavy metals also get leached into the groundwater
Surface water pollution
acid mine drainage often contaminates the nearby streams and lakes
Air pollution
metal from the ore by smelting that emits large quantities of air pollutants
SPM), SOx, soot, arsenic
Occupational Health Hazards (asbestosis, silicosis, black lung disease)
Acid Mine Drainageisacidicwater (pH <5.0), laden with iron, sulfate and
other metals, thatformsunder natural conditions when geologic strata
containing pyrite are exposed to the atmosphere or oxidizing environments

Remedial Measures
Adopting eco-friendly mining technology can minimize the adverse
impacts of mining
microbial-leaching technique can be used for low-grade ores
The bacterium Thiobacillus ferroxidans has been successfully and
economically used for extracting gold embedded in iron sulphide ore.
The ores are inoculated with the desired strains of bacteria, which remove
the impurities (like sulphur) and leave the pure mineral
Restoration of mined areas by re-vegetating with appropriate plant
prevention of toxic drainage discharge

Mining in Sariska Tiger Reserve in Aravallis (case study)

The Aravalli range is spread over about 692 km in the North-west India
covers Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi
The hill region is very rich in biodiversity as well as mineral resources
The reserve is very rich in wild life and has large mineral reserves in
Due to mining operations many areas has turned into permanently infertile
and barren within and around the Sariska Tiger reserve
The precious wild life animals are under serious threat
On December 31st 1991, Supreme Court gave a judgement in response to
a PIL by Tarun Bharat Sangh (an NGO) in which both Centre and State
Government of Rajasthan have been directed to ensure that all mining
activity within the park be stopped
More than 400 mines were shut immediately
Still some illegal mining is in progress

Uranium Mining in Nalgonda, A.P..The public hearing

(case study)
Uranium in Jaduguda mines, Jharkhand can supply the yellow cake only till
There is need more uranium to meet the demands of Indias nuclear
The Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) proposed to mine uranium from
Lambapur and Peddagattu villages of Nalgonda district in Andhra
Pradesh and to set up a processing unit at about 18 kms at Mallapur
The plan is to extract the ore of 11.02 million tons in 20 years
UCIL tried their best to allure the villagers through employment opportunities
But, experts charge the company for keeping silence on the possible
contamination of water bodies in the area
The proposed mines are just 1 km from human habitation and hardly
10 km from Nagarjun Sagar Dam and barely 4 km from the
Akkampalli reservoir which is Hyderabads new source of drinking

The pathetic condition of Jaduguda Uranium mines in Jharkhand where there

is a black history of massive deaths and devastation
The proposed mines would cover about 445 ha of Yellapurum Reserve
Forest and the Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Sanctuary
The public hearing held just recently in February, 2004 witnessed
strong protests from NGOs and many villagers


Thousands of edible plants and animals over the world

Only about three dozen types constitute the major food of humans
Main food resources include wheat, rice, maize, potato, barley, oats, cassava,
sweet potato, sugarcane, pulses, sorghum, millet etc
About twenty or so common fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, fish and
Rice, wheat and maize are the major grains
About 1500 million metric tons of which are grown each year, which is about
half of all the agricultural crops
About 4 billion people in the developing countries have wheat and rice as
their staple food
Meat and milk are mainly consumed by more developed nations
North America, Europe and Japan who consume about 80% of the total
Fish and sea-food contribute about 70 million metric tons

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations estimated that
on an average the minimum caloric intake on a global scale is 2,500
People receiving less than 90% of these minimum dietary calories are called
undernourished and if it is less than 80% they are said to be seriously
Deficiency or lack of nutrition often leads to malnutrition resulting in
Impacts of malnutrition
several diseases


During the last 50 years world grain production has increased almost
three times and per capita production increased by about 50%
At the same time the population growth increase in LDCs outstripped food
Every year 40







Fifty percent of that are young children between 1 to 5 years

It implies that, every year our food problem is killing as many people as were
killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II
Emphasis on the need to increase food production, equal distribution
and also to control population growth
Indian Scenario: Although India is the third largest producer of staple
crops, 300 million Indians are still undernourished estimation says
India has only half as much land as USA, but it has nearly three times
population to feed


India leads in live stock population in the world
The huge population of livestock needs to be fed and the grazing
lands or pasture areas are not adequate
Live stock grazing on a particular piece of grassland or pasture
surpass the carrying capacity
Carrying capacity of any system: the maximum population that
can be supported by it on a sustainable basis

Impact of Overgrazing
Land Degradation:
Overgrazing removes the vegetal cover over the soil
The exposed soil gets compacted due to which the operative soil depth
Roots cannot go much deep into the soil and adequate soil moisture is not
Organic recycling also declines in the ecosystem because not enough detritus
or litter remains on the soil to be decomposed
The humus(organic component of the soil formed by the decomposition of
leaves and other plant material by soil microorganism) content of the soil
Thus overgrazing leads to organically poor, dry, compacted soil
The soil loses infiltration capacity due to trampling by cattle. This
reduces percolation of water into the soil and consequently more water gets
lost from the ecosystem along with surface run off

Soil Erosion
overgrazing by cattle causes removal of vegetation from the land
Thus the soil gets exposed and gets eroded by the action of strong wind,
rainfall etc.
The plant (e.g. grass) roots are very good binders of soil
On removal of the grasses, the soil becomes loose and susceptible to the
action of water and wind causing soil erosion

Loss of useful species

Overgrazing adversely affects the composition of plant population and
their regeneration capacity
Due to grazing, the root stocks which carry the reserve food for regeneration
get destroyed and some other species appear in their place which are less
nutritive in nature and do not have a good capacity of binding the soil
overgrazing vast areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are
getting invaded by thorny bushes, weeds etc. of low fodder value

Traditional agriculture and its impacts
involves a small plot, simple tools, naturally available water, organic fertilizer
and a mix of crops and usually results in low production
main impacts are
Deforestation: slash and burn of trees in forests to clear the land for
cultivation and frequent shifting
Soil erosion: Clearing of forest exposes the soil to wind, rain and storms,
resulting loss of top layer fertile soil
Depletion of nutrients: By burning, the organic matter in the soil gets
destroyed making the soil nutrient poor consequently makes the cultivators

Modern Agriculture and its impacts

uses hybrid seeds of selected and single crop variety
high-tech equipments
use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water
food production is high (green revolution)
(I) Impacts related to high yielding varieties (HYV): encourage
monoculture, total devastation of the crop by the disease
(II) Fertilizer related problems
Micronutrient imbalance: N, P, K-- are essential macronutrients
Excessive use of fertilizers cause micronutrient imbalance (like Zn)
Nitrate Pollution: Nitrogenous fertilizers often leach deep into the soil and
contaminate the ground water
Nitrates concentrate in the water and when exceed 25 mg/L, causes serious
health hazard --- Blue Baby Syndrome. or methaemoglobinemia

Prevalent in Denmark, England, France, Germany and Netherlands

Due to excessive use of N and P fertilizers
Nitrogen and Phosphorus used in crop fields washed off and finally reach the
water bodies by surface runoff causing over nourishment of the water
body-- a process known as Eutrophication
Due to eutrophication the lakes get invaded by algal blooms and grow very
fast by rapidly use up the nutrients
The algal species quickly complete their life cycle and add a lot of dead
organic matter after death
Also aquatic animals (fish) die
dead matter starts getting decomposed using oxygen resulting depletion of
DO that affect aquatic fauna
ultimately anaerobic conditions are created where only pathogenic
anaerobic bacteria can survive

Due to excessive use of fertilizers in the agricultural fields the water

ecosystem gets degraded
(III) Pesticide related problems
first generation pesticides includes-- sulphur, arsenic, lead or mercury to kill
the pests
second generation pesticidesDDT (Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane )
Although pesticides protect crops from pests, yet they have a number of sideeffects
Creating resistance in pests and producing new pests:
Some pest species usually survive even after pesticide spray and give rise to
highly resistant generations---called as Super pests
Death of non-target organisms:
not only kill the target species but also several non-target species that are
Biological magnification:
Many of the pesticides are nonbiodegradable and keep on
accumulating in the food chain--- a process called biological

(IV) Water Logging

What it is?:

It is a condition of land in which the soil profile is saturated

with water either temporarily or permanently

The water table rises to a level that the soil pores in the crop root zone are
saturated & consequently restrict the normal circulation of air

Causes: Water logging is a drainage problem that results of high water

inflow due to-- rain, runoff, interflow, rise in groundwater, over irrigation or
Drainage problems can be caused by low water outflow due to low infiltration
rate, low hydraulic conductivity, flat terrain, lack of outlet
Inadequate drainage

Temporary waterlogging after

a heavy rainstorm


Permanent waterlogging
resulting from
ground water contribution

Creation of anaerobic condition in the crop root zone

Lowering of temperature of soil
Accumulation salts which may harmful
Tillage operation is not possible
Growth of water logging wild plants

(V) Salinity problem:

Salinity: The accumulation of soluble salts----sodium chloride, sodium
sulphate, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride etc. in the soil causes salinity
of the soil
One third of the total cultivable land area of the world is affected by salts
In India, seven million hectares of land are estimated to be salt
Major cause is excessive irrigation
About 20% of the worlds croplands are irrigated using canal or ground water
which often contains dissolved salts
dry climates,
the water
in theare
of hectares
of evaporates
land area in
by soil salinity and alkalinity. crops cannot tolerate high salinity
The average oceansalinityis 35ppt and the average river watersalinityis
0.5ppt or less. This means that in every kilogram (1000 grams) of seawater,
35 grams are salt.


most common method for getting rid of salts is to flush them out by
applying more good quality water
Sub-surface drainage system: laying underground network of perforated
drainage pipes for flushing out the salts gradually
The Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI) located in Karnal,
Haryana--success story of converting Zarifa Viran village to Zarifa Abad i.e. .from

Case Study: Salinity and water logging in Punjab, Haryana

and Rajasthan
The first report of salt-affected wasteland formation due to irrigation
practices came from Haryana followed by Punjab in 1858
Reported that several villages in Panipat, Rohtak and Delhi lying in command
area of Western Yamuna Canal were suffering from destructive saline
efflorescence (is the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material,
where it forms a coating)
In 1886, the Reh Committee brought the attention of the government
showing a close relationship between irrigation, drainage and spread of
reh and usar soils
The floods of 1947, 1950, 1952, 1954-56 in Punjab resulted in aggravated
water logging with serious drainage problems
Introduction of canal irrigation in 1.2 m ha in Haryana resulted in rise in
water-table followed by water-logging and salinity
Rajasthan also suffered badly by the biggest irrigation project --Indira
Gandhi Canal Project. Especially a part of western Rajasthan changed
from water-starved wasteland to water soaked wasteland

Energy consumption of a nation reflects the index of its development
because almost all the developmental activities are directly or indirectly
depends on energy
Wide disparity in per capita energy use between developed and developing
Energy is required in all the sectors--Agriculture,
transportation, lighting, cooling and heating



The world is facing energy deficit due to demands of growing population

Fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas (that contributes 95% of the
commercial energy of the world resources) will not last for may more years
Life style is changing very fast from a simple to a luxurious life style
Developed countries like U.S.A. and Canada consume one fourth of global
energy resources though they constitute about 5% of the worlds population
Per capita energy use (average) is 300 GJ per year in developed nations
against 1 GJ in a year by poor counties like Bhutan, Nepal or Ethiopia


Which can be generated continuously in nature and are inexhaustible
Examples: wood, solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, hydropower,
biomass energy, bio-fuels, geo-thermal energy and hydrogen


Cannot be quickly replenished when exhausted

Examples: coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear fuels like uranium and

Renewable Energy Resources

Solar energy:
For all forms of life, the ultimate source of energy is Sun
Where from the sun gets energy?
Nuclear fusion reaction in it
The nuclear fusion reactions inside the sun release huge quantities of energy
in the form of heat and light
Important solar energy harvesting devices
Solar heat collectors: can be passive or active in nature
Passive solar heat collectors: natural materials like stones, bricks etc. or
material like glass which absorb heat during the day time and release it
slowly at night
Active solar collectors pump a heat absorbing medium (air or water) through
a small collector which is normally placed on the top of the building

Solar cells:
Known as photovoltaic cells or PV cells
Made up of thin wafers (thin) of semi conductor materials like silicon and
Upon irradiation, a potential difference is produced which causes flow of
electrons and produces electricity
Efficiency of the PV cells can be improved by using gallium arsenide,
cadmium sulphide or boron
Potential difference produced by a single PV cell of 4 cm2 size is about 0.40.5 volts and produces a current of 60 milli amperes
A group of solar cells joined together to form a solar panel which can harness
a large amount of solar energy
Use of Solar cells----in calculators, electronic watches, street lighting, traffic
signals, water pumps
also used in artificial satellites for electricity generation

Solar cooker
use of solar heat by reflecting the solar radiations using a mirror directly on
to a glass sheet which covers the black insulated box within which the raw
food is kept
new design of solar cooker is now available which involves a spherical
reflector (concave or parabolic reflector) instead of plane mirror that has
more heating effect and hence greater efficiency.

Solar water heater

Insulated box with black paint inside and a glass lid to receive and store solar
A black painted copper coil inside the box in which cold water flows and gets

Solar Pump Set

Solar Water

Solar Agricultural
Water Pumping

Solar furnace
Asolar furnaceis a structure that captures sunlight to produce very high
temperatures, used for industrial purposes
Thousands of small plane mirrors are arranged in concave reflectors, all of
which concentrate light to a focal point and produce as high a temperature
as 3000-3500C.

The solar furnace at Odeilloin France can reach temperatures up to 3,500C

Solar power plant

Harnessing solar energy on a large scale using concave reflectors to
make water boil to produce steam and the steam turbine drives a generator
to produce electricity. A solar power plant (50 K Watt capacity) has been
installed at Gurgaon, Haryana

High speed winds have kinetic energy due to their motion
What is the driving force of the wind ?
Wind energy is harnessed by using wind mills/turbines
Awind turbineis a device that converts kineticenergyof thewind into
The rotational motion of the blades (due to striking of winds) drives a
number of machines like water pumps, flour mills and electric generators

Wind farm: Awind farmis a group ofwind turbinesin the same

location used to produce electricity.
These farms are installed where the wind is strong and steady (coastal, open
grassland, hilly area etc.)
The minimum wind speed for satisfactory working of a wind
generator is 15 km/hr

Estimated that the wind power potential of our country is about 20,000 MW,
but presently we are generating about 1020 MW
The largest wind farm of our country is near Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu
generating 380 MW electricity
A clean fuel source
No air pollution
After installation cost, it is very cheap

The water flow in a river is collected by dam and allowed to fall from a height
The blades of the turbine at bottom of the dam moves fast due to high speed
of water fall from the dam and in turn the turbine rotate the generator
producing electricity
The minimum height of the water falls should be 10 metres
No pollution
sustainable fuel source
Other benefits like
flood control, irrigation, water supply
Disadvantages are also there

What it is? : It is a form of hydropower that converts theenergyof
thetidesinto electricity or other useful forms of power

How tides generated?: The tide is created by the gravitational effect

of the sun and the moon on the earth causing cyclical movement of the seas
The tidal energy can be harnessed by constructing a tidal barrage

The bay of Fundy Canada having 17-18 m high tides has a potential of 5,000
MW of power generation
The tidal mill at La Rance, France is one of the first modern tidal power mill
In India Gulf of Cambay, Gulf of Kutch and the Sunder bans deltas are the
tidal power sites



Ocean Thermal EnergyConversion (OTEC) is a process that can produce
electricity by using the temperature difference between deep
coldoceanwater and warm tropical surface water
A difference of 20C or more is required between surface water and deeper
water of ocean for operating OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)
power plants

Geothermal energyis the heat from the Earth
Energy harnessed from the hot rocks inside the earth
Where from the het comes?
Fission of radioactive material naturally
present in the rocks
The major heat-producing isotopes in the
Earth arepotassium-40,uranium-235,
uranium-238, andthroium-232
several geothermal plants working
successfully In USA and

sources are power
consistently generate
the power needed to
demand is called the
base load requiremen
, it is the minimum
level of demand on
an electrical supply

Biomass? : It is the organic matter produced by the plants or animals
Examples: wood, crop residues, cattle dung, manure, sewage, agricultural

Energy Plantations: Solar energy is trapped by green plants through

photosynthesis and converted into biomass energy
Examples of energy plantations: Fast growing trees (cottonwood, poplar),
non-woody herbaceous grasses, crop plants (sugarcane, sweet sorghum
and sugar beet), aquatic weeds (water hyacinth), sea-weeds and
carbohydrate rich potato, cereal
How do they produce energy?: burning directly or converting into
burnable gas or into fuels by fermentation
Cropswhich yield biofuel compounds like biodiesel
Under high temperature and pressure hydrocarbon rich plants---latex
containing plants like Euphorbias & and oil palms give an oil like substance
Oily materials directly may be burned in diesel engines or may be refined to
form gasoline
These type of plants are popularly known as petro-crops

Agricultural and Urban Waste biomass

Agriculture waste: Crop residues, bagasse (sugarcane residues), coconut
shells, peanut hulls, cotton stalks etc. are some of the common agricultural
wastes which produce energy by burning
Urban waste: Municipal solid wastes
Animal dung, fishery and poultry waste and even human refuse
Brazil gets 30 % of electricity from burning bagasse
In rural India, animal dung cakes are burnt to produce heat
About 80 % of rural heat energy comes from burning agricultural wastes,
wood and animal dung cakes
In rural areas these biomass are burned in open furnaces called Chulhas
which usually produce smoke and are not efficient
Burning of plant residues or animal wastescauses air pollution, lot of ash
as waste residue. Burning of dung destroys essential nutrients like N and P
It is therefore, more useful to convert the biomass into biogas or bio fuels

Biogas ?: It is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and
hydrogen sulphide, the major constituent being methane
How produced?: By anaerobic degradation of animal wastes (sometimes
plant wastes) in the presence of water
Anaerobic degradation?: Breaking down of organic matter by bacteria in
the absence of oxygen
Useful for rural areas ---- a lot of animal waste and agricultural waste are
India has high potential for biogas production due to largest cattle population
in the world
A sixty cubic feet gobar gas plant can serve one average family

Main advantages
It is clean, non-polluting and low cost (cheap)
Direct supply of gas from the plant
No storage problem
Left over sludge is a rich fertilizer with bacterial biomass
Nutrients preserved as such in the sludge
Eliminates health hazards which normally occur in case of direct use of dung

Biogas Plant
Floating gas-holder type
Fixed-dome type

Floating gas holder type biogas plant

Fixed dome type Biogas plant

Biofuels?: Energy sources made from living things/the waste that living
things produce
How produced?: Fermentation of biomass to alcohols like ethanol and
methanol which
can be used as fuels
Ethanol can be easily produced from carbohydrate rich substances like
Burns clean and non-polluting
But calorific value is less compared to petrol
Produces much less heat than petrol
Gasohol: A mixture of ethanol and gasoline
A common fuel used in Brazil and Zimbabwe (for car/bus)
Methanol: very useful since it burns at a lower temperature than gasoline or

Hydrogen burns in air
Combines with oxygen to form water and a large amount of energy (150
Its highest calorific value can serve as an excellent fuel
Production of Hydrogen: by
Thermal dissociation of water at 3000K or above produce hydrogen
Electrolysis of water dissociates water into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen
when current flow through it
Photolysis of water involves breakdown of water in the presence of
sun light to release hydrogen
But highly inflammable and explosive in nature
safe handling is required for using H2 as a fuel
Difficult to store and transport

Non-Renewable Energy Sources

Fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear fuels
Formed by decomposition of the remains of plants and animals buried under
the earth millions of years ago
Very precious since they have taken long time to be formed

Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the world
There are mainly three types of coal
Anthracite (hard coal), bituminous (Soft coal) and lignite (brown coal)

Anthracite coal: maximum carbon (90%) and calorific value (8700 kcal/kg.)
Bituminous, lignite and peat contain 80, 70 and 60% carbon respectively
India has about 5% of worlds coal and is not very good in terms of heat
Major coal fields in India: Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, Singrauli, and Godavari
Coal states of India: Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh,
Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra
Anthracite coal occurs only in J & K

13 countries in the world having 67% of the petroleum reserves form the
OPEC: Organization of Petroleum exporting countries
Saudi Arabia reserves about 1/4th of the oil
Crude petroleum: complex mixture of alkane hydrocarbons
Purified and refined by the process of fractional distillation
Variety of products from petroleum: petroleum gas, kerosene, petrol,
diesel, lubricating oil, paraffin wax, asphalt
Petroleum is a cleaner fuel as compared to coal
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): petroleum gas in liquid form under
Main component is butane along with ethane and propane
Odourless but domestic LPG cylinders gives a foul smell due to due to
ethyl mercaptan that is added to detect any leakage in the cylinder

It is a fossil fuel, mainly methane (95%) with small amounts of propane
and ethane
Natural gas deposits mostly accompany oil deposits
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel
It has a high calorific value of about 50KJ/G or 13 kcal/g
Russia has maximum reserves (40%), followed by Iran (14%) and USA (7%)
In India, new gas fields have been found in Tripura, off-shore area of Mumbai
and the Krishna Godavari Delta
Natural gas is used: as
domestic and industrial fuel
fuel in thermal power plants for generating electricity
source of hydrogen gas in fertilizer industry

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Alternative to petrol and diesel for transport of vehicles
Natural gas under pressure that remains clear, odourless and non-corrosive
Delhi has totally switched over to CNG
CNG use has greatly reduced vehicular pollution in the city

Synthetic/Substitute Natural Gas (SNG)

A fuel gas that can be produced from fossil fuels like lignite coal
A mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen
Low grade coal is initially transformed into synthetic gas by gasification
followed by catalytic conversion to methane
Syngas, or synthesis gas, is a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of
hydrogen, carbon monoxide and very often some carbon dioxide
It is a connecting link between a fossil fuel and substituted natural gas

Energy released during nuclear fission or fusion, especially when
used to generate electricity
Generated by two types of reactions: nuclear fission or fusion
Nuclear Fission
A heavy nucleus splits spontaneously or on impact with another particle, with
release of energy
Uranium-235 is most commonly
used in nuclear reactors

Nuclear fusion
A nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei of low atomic number fuse
to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy
Difficult to initiate the process but it releases more energy than nuclear

Nuclear energy has tremendous potential, but

leakage from the reactor may cause devastating nuclear pollution
Disposal of the nuclear waste is also a big problem
located at Tarapur (Maharashtra), Rana Pratap Sagar near Kota (Rajasthan)
Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu) and Narora (U.P.).

Land is a finite resource on which we depend for our basic amenities of life
(food, fibre and fuel wood)
Soil, especially the








because it is continuously regenerated by natural process though at a very

slow rate
Based on the climate & soil type, it takes about 200-1000 years for the
formation of one inch soil.
when rate of erosion is faster than rate of renewal, the soil becomes a nonrenewable resource


Increase in demand for arable land, what for?

To meet the demand of food, fibre and fuel wood etc for the growing
So more and more pressure on the limited land resources by means of overexploitation and hence getting degraded
But this is an alarming issue since soil formation is an extremely slow
process and the average annual erosion rate is 20-100 times more than
the renewal rate


degradation: Soil erosion, water-logging, salinization and

contamination of the soil with industrial wastes, heavy metals etc.

Movement of top soil from one place to another
Results the loss of fertility since the top soil layer is fertile in nature
1/3 rd the worlds cropland is getting eroded
2/3 rd of the seriously degraded lands lie in Asia and Africa
Based upon the cause of soil erosion, it is basically of two types :
Normal erosion or geologic erosion
This is caused by gradual removal of top soil by natural processes with
maintaining natural balance between erosion and renewal
Accelerated erosion
Mainly caused by man-made (anthropogenic) activities where the rate of
erosion is much faster than the rate of formation of soil
Activities causing accelerated erosion: Deforestation, overgrazing and mining

Agents causing soil erosion

Two types: Climatic and Biotic

Climatic agents: water and wind

Water induced soil erosion
Sheet erosion: uniform removal of a thin layer of soil from a large surface area
usually due to run-off water
Rill erosion: rapid running water due to rainfall producing finger-shaped grooves
or rills over the area
Gully erosion: Formation of deeper cavities/gullies (U or V shaped) due to heavy
Slip erosion: Occurs on hill and mountain slopes due to heavy rainfall
Stream bank erosion: When fast running streams take a turn in some other
direction, they cut the soil and make caves in the banks

Wind erosion
Causes three types of soil movements
Saltation: Fine soil particles (1-1.5 mm diameter)are lifted into the air by the
wind and drift horizontally across the surface increasing in velocity as they
go. Travel approximately four times longer in distance than in height
Suspension: Fine soil particles (less than 1 mm dia) those are suspended in
the air are kicked up and carried to distant places
Surface creep: Here larger particles (5-10 mm diameter) creep/roll over the
soil surface along with wind

Biotic agents
The major biotic agents responsible for soil erosion: Deforestation, excessive
grazing and mining activities
Overgrazing: Accounts for 35% of the worlds soil erosion
Deforestation: Responsible for 30% of the earths seriously eroded lands
Unsustainable methods of farming: Accounts for 28% of soil erosion
Activities those make the top soil vulnerable to erosion: Deforestation without
reforestation, mining (basically surface) without land reclamation, irrigation
methods causing water logging and salinity problems, soil compaction by
machines etc.

Soil Conservation
Soil conservation: To prevent soil from erosion and conserve the soil. The
practices are:
Conservational till farming/no-till-farming:
Traditional method involves ploughing the land by which the soil breaks and
smoothed for planting. But this makes the soil susceptible to erosion without
crop cover
No-till-farming causes minimum disturbance to the top soil
Uses special tillers to break up and smooth the subsurface soil without
turning over the topsoil

Contour farming
A farming method in which crops are grown in rows across (not up and down)
specially on gentle slopes
Each horizontal planted row along the hill slope act as a small dam which
helps to hold the soil and slow down the soil loss by run-off water

Steeper slopes are made into a series of broad terraces which run across the
Terrace help to retain water for crops at all levels and decreases soil erosion
by controlling run off
Ditches are also provided behind the terrace to permit adequate drainage in
high rainfall areas

Strip cropping
Strips of crops are alternated with strips of soil saving cover crops like
Run-off from the cropped soil is retained by the strip of cover crop & reduces
soil erosion
Nitrogen fixing legumes also help to restore soil fertility

Alley cropping
A form of inter-cropping in which crops are planted between rows of trees or
It is called as Agro forestry
After harvesting the crop the soil is not fallow since trees and shrubs still
remain on the soil and hold the soil particles preventing from soil erosion

Wind breaks or shelterbelts

Help in reducing soil erosion from strong winds
Along the boundary of the cultivated land, trees are planted in long rows
which block the speed of the wind that causes soil erosion

Water Logging

Water logging and salinisation caused due to

some irrigation projects in India

An estimated loss of Rs. 10,000 million per annum occurs due to waterlogging and salinity in India


A process by which the productive potential of arid or semiarid lands falls by
ten percent or more
Moderate desertification: 10-25% drop in productivity
severe desertification: 25-50% drop
very severe desertification: more than 50% drop in productivity
Leads to the conversion of irrigated croplands to desert like conditions in
which agricultural productivity falls
Desertification characterization: devegetation and loss of vegetal cover,
depletion of groundwater, salinization and severe soil erosion
It includes degradation of the ecosystems within as well as outside the
natural deserts

Causes of Desertification
Deforestation: soil erosion, loss of fertility and loss of water
Overgrazing: heavy graze in grasslands or forests denude the land area
Denudation makes the microclimate near the ground inhospitable to seed
Thus the land becomes loose, more prone to soil erosion by which the top
fertile layer is lost and plant growth is hampered
The dry barren land reflects more of the suns heat and changes the wind

which drive away moisture laden clouds leading to further


Mining and quarrying: responsible for loss of vegetal cover and denudation
of extensive land areas leading to desertification
More than 900 million hectares of land have undergone desertification over
the world in last 50 years
Especially severe in Sahel region (to south of the Sahara) in Africa
most badly affected areas: sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Western Asia,
parts of Central and South America, Australia and the Western half of the
United States


Overuse of the natural resources (forests, water, soil, food, mineral and
energy) by the modern society resulting fast depletion of these resources and
several related problems
Now there is a strong need to conserve these natural resources for
sustainable living
Though the conservation efforts are there at National as well as International
level, the individual efforts has an important role
Like Small droplets of water together form a big ocean small efforts by
every individual can together help in conserving the natural resources to a
large extent

Do not run the taps continuously during brushing, shaving, washing and
Fill the washing machine only to the level required and go for a full load of
Use low capacity flush in toilet
Repair water leaks in pipes because a pin-hole sized leak leads to the
wastage of 640 litres of water in a month
Water the plants in morning/evening to reduce evaporation loss
Use drip and sprinkle irrigation
Make rain water harvesting system in your house

Conserve energy
Turn off lights, fans and other appliances when not in use
Use solar cooker for cooking your food on sunny days
Design your house with provision for sunspace ( for warm and light)
Use public transportations whenever possible
Ride bicycle or walk for small distances instead of using your car or scooter
Protect the
Make compost from your kitchen waste and use it for kitchen-garden or
Use sprinkle irrigation instead of strong flow of water at the root
Use green manure and mulch in the garden
Use mixed cropping ( not to deplete few soil nutrients)
Avoid over irrigation if you have agricultural land


Big divide in the world: North ( MDC) & South (LDC)
MDCs: 22% of worlds population but use 88% of its natural resources, and
contribute very big proportion to the pollution
USA, Canada, Japan, the CIS, Australia , New Zealand and Western European
LDCs: 78% of the worlds population and use about 12% of natural resources
The gap between the two is increasing with time due to sharp increase in
population in
the LDCs