Natural Recourses - revision cards



  • 97% of the Earth's water is salty
  • 3% of the Earth's water is fresh
  • <1% of the water is fresh water at the surface of rivers, lakes and swamps
  • 0.01% is the fresh water we can actually use

Physical water scarcity - when there just isn't enough water to meet everyone's needs. This might be because an area experiences very low levels of rainfall e.g. northern China

Economic water scarcity - when there is enough water but people cannot access it due to poverty. This might be due to not having sufficient technology or finacial resources e.g. Ethiopia

We can solve water scarcity by wasting less water, using desalination so that we can use salty water, irrigation so that less water is wasted in agricilture (which is where the most water is wasted), transporting water and harvesting water. We can also support charities that deliver training and equipment to help communities access water.

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  • soil is made of water, air, organic matter and minerals
  • soil is a major store of carbon
  • there are 70,000 different types of soil
  • soil is an important store of water
  • soil is an inmportant store of oxygen
  • it provides the nutrients that plants need
  • it takes thousands of years to form
  • soil is not a renewable resource
  • we bury ribbish in it and use it to filter waste
  • we let animals graze to much leaving the soil bare, compacted and easily eroded
  • we bury it under our cities
  • we contaminate it with dust and fumes
  • we cut down trees which allows the soil to be eroded

Desertification is when deserts spread in dry regions where land is increasingly degraded. This is due to a growing population which needs more crops which wear the soil out, more animals to graze the land and more trees to be cut down for building and firewood.

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Oil is formed when tiny ocean creatures die and get buried in sediment. This gets compacted to form sedimentary rock. Heat and pressure turn the remains into oil. Oil takes hundreds of millions of years to form so it is considered a non-renewable resource since we use it up much faster.

  • oil is relatively cheap to extract and turn into energy
  • it is very efficient
  • it can be used to make petrol and diesel for travel
  • it is used in medical drugs and plastic
  • when it burns it produces carbon dioxide which is linked to global warming
  • it produces other harmful gasses like sulphur dioxide too, this causes acid rain
  • oil spills from tankers and pipelines form oil platforms which harm the environment and marine life
  • some oil producing countries are politically unstable so we may not want to, or be able to buy oil from them meaning we cannot be sure of steady oil suppliers
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Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy from a source that is not depleted when used. The UK currently gets only 6% of it's energy from renewable sources. 15% of Britain's energy must come from renewable sources by 2020. (37% of the UK's energy was renewable in 2019).

Some types of renewable energy are wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric.

  • renewable energy is clean and renewable
  • it doesn't contribute to global warming
  • it does not always produce as much energy as other sources
  • it can take up large areas of land
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Syria is a country in western Asia whose refugees have benefited from solar power. It is south of Turkey and west of Iraq, with thw Mediterranean sea to the east.

Many Syrian refugees have been using a solar powered device called the Waka Waka which gives light and electricity.

  • the Waka Waka gives people safety
  • students can study in the evenings
  • refugees can charge their phones to contact their family members
  • it is small and portable
  • not all families can afford the technology
  • solar energy is not always reliable
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