Human Impact on the Lithosphere

Station 5 (Digital Poster)

Fossil Fuels

What is It? Natural fuel formed from dead organisms

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable

Obtained - Mining and Drilling

Used - Source of fuel

Impact on the Environment - Air & water pollution, threat to organisms' health, extracting them from the Earth disrupts the environment

Solar Energy

What is It? Energy produced by Sun rays

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Renewable

Obtained - PV Panels absorb the rays

Used - Energy Source

Impact on the Environment - High land use (solar-cell power plants)

Hydroelectric

What is It? Energy produced by water turning turbines

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Renewable

Obtained - Dams are put up to access the water

Used - Energy Source

Impact on the Environment - Floods land to make a reservoir, high CO2 due to decaying organisms, decreases flow of silt to the lower part of the reservoir, decrease in fish harvest

Geothermal

What is It? Energy produce by Earth's interior heat

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Renewable (unless Earth blows up)

Obtained - Heat within the Earth heats up ground water, which is then converted into steam

Used - Energy Source

Impact on the Environment - The resource will disappear if used too quickly, local air pollution, noise and odor pollution, CO2 emissions

Wind

What is It? Energy produced by wind turning wind turbines

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Renewable

Obtained - Wind Turbines

Used - Energy Source

Impact on the Environment - High land use, visual and noise pollution, could interfere with and kill birds

Peat

What is It? A soil-like material

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable (slowly renewable)

Obtained - Harvested

Used - Fuel Source & A Source of Extra Nutrients for Soil

Impact on the Environment - Makes soil have more nutrients, could seep into the groundwater or be carried away by runoff into other sources of water

Coal

What is It? A natural resource found in rocks (also is a fossil fuel)

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable

Obtained - Surface or underground mining

Used - Fuel Source

Impact on the Environment - Land disturbance, air & water pollution, high land use, threat to human health, releases high levels of CO2, toxic and radioactive materials

Oil

What is It? A liquid that comes from petroleum

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable

Obtained - Drilling

Used - Fuel Source

Impact on the Environment - Air & water pollution, CO2 emissions

Natural Gas

What is It? A naturally occurring gas that is found underground

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable, but we can manufacture Biogas, which is similar

Obtained - Hydrofracking (drilling and adding fluid at the same time)

Used - Fuel Source

Impact on the Environment - Releases Co2 and greenhouse gases

Plutonium

What is It? A radioactive, rare natural element that can also be manufactured

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Both

Obtained - Mined

Used - A fuel in nuclear reactors/ nuclear fission

Impact on the Environment - Radioactive wastes, high impact on everything if an accident occurs

Uranium

What is It? A naturally occurring radioactive element

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Nonrenewable

Obtained - Mined

Used - A fuel source in nuclear reactors/nuclear fission

Impact on the Environment - Radioactive wastes, high impact on everything if an accident occurs

Wood

What is It? A naturally occurring resource that can provide many uses

Renewable or Nonrenewable - Renewable

Obtained - Harvested (cutting down trees)

Used - A fuel source or to make many products

Impact on the Environment - CO2 emissions (if burned), soil erosion, water pollution, loss of wildlife habitats, nonrenewable if harvested insufficiently