A non-renewable resource (also called a limited resource) is a natural resource. Natural means can’t supplement easily enough to keep up with use. An example of this is fossil fuel dependent on biomass. With the aid of heat and friction, the initial organic matter becomes a fuel, such as oil or coal.
Depletion of nonrenewable resources
Non-renewable natural resources may also be described as the materials contained inside the planet, resources developed throughout millions of years. Those comprise fossil energy, shale, gas, biomass, and nuclear power. Nearly 84 percent of the overall energy produced worldwide currently comes from fossil fuels.
Read more at A guide to 5 types of renewable energy
Types of natural resources that are most at risk of depletion
- Earth minerals and metal ores
- Fossil Fuels
- Natural gas
Depletion of Natural Resources
Natural resource loss happens when we use commodities at a higher pace than that of replacement. The production of natural resources occurs without the participation of human beings, and these can be either renewable or non-renewable. So, when it comes to addressing the loss of non-renewable natural resources, it is a terminology that is utilized in terms of energy use, fossil fuel use, and mining.
These non-renewable natural resources on earth have higher importance because of scarcity. The growing world population is also raising the loss of natural resources. As a result, the world’s eco-footprint is estimated to be one and a half times the Earth’s ability to sustain. All of the non-renewable natural resources are rapidly depleting, not just one. The loss of these resources may have several triggers and consequences.
Here’s a thorough description of the natural resource depletion causes, consequences, and solutions.
What are the Causes of Depletion of Non- Renewable Resources?
More than seven billion people make up the total world population and, currently, the total earth population is growing. This has become a key factor in the acceleration of natural resource depletion. A rise in population is increasing the need for capital and the required conditions to support it. It also leads to heightened ecological pollution. Further research suggests that developing countries are rapidly using natural resources such as coal to industrialize and sustain their ever-increasing population. Therefore, the depletion of non-renewable natural resources must continue with the population rise.
2. Overuse of Non-renewable natural resources
The Industrial Revolution of 1760 saw large-scale mineral and oil discovery and the activity expanded slowly. This led to an increasingly natural depletion of oil and minerals. And in tandem with the developments in technology, mineral exploration has become easier. Humans are searching deeper for access to specific ores. The increased mining of various minerals has contributed to a decrease in demand for production. For example, the production of minerals such as gasoline, copper, and zinc is expected to decline over the next 20 years. Moreover, oil extraction continues to increase due to the rise in the number of engines utilizing petroleum, thus increasing its depletion. The peak oil hypothesis supports this idea by implying that a time will come when the globe will face confusion about renewable fuels due to petroleum over-harvesting. Research says that time will come when the globe will face fuel shortage, due to petroleum over-harvesting.
3. Industrial and Technological Development
The planet is going through a process of incessant industrialization. More and more countries are making big technological breakthroughs. Nevertheless, as technological advancement continues, there is equally substantial growth in industries that have powered the market for important materials. Therefore, more resources are used to meet market demands, increasing the rate of depletion of natural non-renewable resources.
Effects of Depletion of Non-renewable Natural Resources
1. Oil depletion
Oil is a non-renewable fuel that is about 40% of the overall resource usage worldwide. Analysis by EIA’s International Energy Outlook in 2013 had shown that the amount of oil remaining would last for just 25 years due to the high rate of oil exploitation. Oil is an important commodity among many operations. It is used in manufacturing, planting, mining, and transportation. Its depletion would be disastrous for all industries. The negative effects of oil depletion include market decline, high living costs in developed countries, and instability in the transportation sector.
You might be interested in What is the Future of Biofuels and whether it Can Replace Gasoline.
2. Depletion of Minerals
The mining of non-renewable ores and minerals has been growing to support the seven billion people on earth. Studies carried out by the United States Geological Survey indicate that the world could run out of natural non-renewable minerals in the next 50 to 100 years. Reports have also shown that the use of natural non-renewable Minerals such as copper, sand, gravel, and stone, among others, is growing, which can have disastrous impacts on humans.
3. Extinction of Species
When there will be no natural non-renewable resources present on earth, the species will be affected badly. As a result of this resource over-exploitation, some species may go extinct.
Solutions to stop the Depletion of non-renewable Natural Resources
1. Reducing oil, mineral, and material consumption
Together with the World Bank, the oil-rich countries, states and market regulatory bodies should join hands towards a shared international goal of exploring how to reduce oil and mineral consumption and exploitation. For example, they can educate manufacturers on lean manufacturing (recycling, reuse, and waste reduction). Additionally, they can sensitize customers on how to implement reuse, waste reduction, and recycling techniques at home.
2. Use of renewable sources of energy and more exploration
Renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind power, must be further explored and used in order to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. This is essential since fossil fuels are a major cause of carbon pollution, climate change, global warming, and habitat loss.
3. Awareness and Sensitization
Citizens need to be informed about how the dwindling non-renewable natural resources and their contributions have placed pressure on the loss of non-renewable natural resources. There are many Audio books that can help them in this scenario. The primary aim of awareness-raising will be to inspire people to protect the natural environment. Participating in conservation activities can help to improve this.
Natural resource loss happens when we use commodities at a higher pace than that of replacement. An increase in population and industrial development is accelerating the depletion of non-renewable resources. Reading fossil fuel consumption, using renewable resources instead of non-renewable resources, and making citizens aware can reduce the depletion of these resources.