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Q: Describe three nonrenewable energy sources from Ch. 17 of Visualizing Environmental Science. What are the benefits and challenges of each of these energy sources?
A: Energy comes from many sources, and to describe these sources we use two terms: renewable and non-renewable. Non-renewable energy resources cannot be replaced ? once they are used up, they will not be restored (or not for millions of years). [ Non-renewable energy resources include fossil fuels and nuclear power. Fossil fuels Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) were formed from animals
and plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago (before the time of the dinosaurs). They were formed during the Carboniferous period. The plants that lived millions of years ago converted the Sun's light energy into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. This 'solar' energy was (and still is) transferred down the food chain in animals, and when living organisms die, the chemical energy within them was trapped. For a fossil fuel to form, there are three important steps necessary: accumulation of organic matter (animal or plant remains), preservation of organic matter to prevent it from oxidising (exclusion of air, for example, by being in the sea or a swamp) and conversion of organic matter into a fossil fuel such as oil or natural gas. This would typically occur due to the organic matter being covered by layers of sediments, which increases pressure and heat (50?150?C). Fossil fuels are described as non-renewable because it takes millions of years for this process to occur. Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide ? one of the greenhouse gases. Burning coal ? one of the fossil fuels ? produces not just carbon dioxide but also releases sulphur into the air, which increases air pollution. energy, we wouldn't be able to run our cars, warm and illuminate our homes or manufacture the goods we've come to take for granted. Nonrenewable energy resources provide the power for our lives, but many challenges face both producers and users of those resources. The U.S. ]
Jfrances|Points 50|
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Asked 11/20/2012 10:34:36 PM
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