Raw Materials People use some resources just the way they come from nature. Water is one example. But most resouces must be changed in some way to make something useful. These resources are called raw materials. They must be processed to make them into useful materials such as paper and lumber.
Three Kinds of Resources Geographers divide the Earth’s natural resources into three groups.
1.- Recycable Resources Water, nitrogen, and carbon are examples of recycable resources. – These resources recycle through our environment naturally. The water cycle, for instance, naturally recycles our fresh water supply.
2.- Renewable Resources Trees and other living things on the Earth. – These resources are different from recycable resources because they can be replaced. Example : A timber company may harvest all the trees in an area. If the company plants new trees to replace them, however, they are renewing the resource.
Interesting Fact Did you know trees could get this big? This is a giant sequoia.
3.- Nonrenewable Resources When these resources are used up, they cannot be replaced. - Most non living things, such as minerals, coal, natural gas, and petroleum, are non renewable resources.
Ancient Energy: Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels were created over millions of years from the remains of prehistoric plants and animals. These fuels are no longer being created. As a result, fossil fuels are non renewable resources.
Energy Resources Everyone in the world needs energy. Certain areas are rich in some energy resources, while others have very few. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Mexico have huge amounts of oil. Others like the U.S.A. and China, have coal and natural gas. Countries with many rivers like northwestern Europe, can use water energy to create electricity. Others such as Japan, have very few energy sources.
Section 2 Assessment 1.- Define the following words: natural resources, raw materials, recycable resources, renewable resource, nonrenewable resource, fossil fuels 2.- What are the different types of natural resource ? 3.- Investigate: What factors have made energy scarce?