Causes and Effects of Depletion of Natural Resources: According to the world counts, we are exhausting about 90 billion natural resources, including biomass, minerals, and fossil fuels every year, three times more than in 1970 till 2015, and expected to increase by two times till 2050.
Well, natural resources, we all came up through this term in some way. We have studied in textbooks, given debates, and joined awareness programs against its deletion.
We have a question for you. What have you learned? Are you clear about the topic, why all that information is given in the form of study materials, debate topics, or as a topic for several events? We all take part without even understanding what they are meant for. Let us make you understand what we want to say.
Natural resources are all forms of sources we are utilizing every day, either as a survival source or for making our lives better and comfortable. These can be water, air, trees (forest), minerals, oils, or even food materials we are getting from nature.
You might be aware of this, still, did you know? Around 1 billion people in the U.S.A and Europe make the consumption of about 84% of energy. And the rest of the world only 16% (including the most populated countries like China and India).
So, this shows the fact why we should care about our natural resources against depletion. Well, you can take ideas of what depletion of natural resources means. And if not then, let’s begin our topic with its definition.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does resource depletion mean?
- 2 Causes of Natural Resource Depletion
- 3 Effects of Depletion of Natural Resources
- 4 Protection of Natural Resources
What does resource depletion mean?
Resource depletion or depletion of natural resources is the destruction or usage of natural resources quickly, usually faster than it renews. Further, some resources are non-renewable, and this rate of depletion causes scarcity of that type of asset.
Yes, depletion declares that the natural resources are deteriorating, and we must be aware of saving this. Otherwise, the day is nearer when we don’t have sufficient raw materials, even for survival.
We can categorize different types of natural resources into two parts, either as renewal and non-renewal. Further, we can explain the natural resources such as minerals, water, fossil fuels, etc., as the source that will finish in the near future.
However, here in this article, we will have a closer view of how natural resources are depleting so fast?, the effects, and how we can save them from depletion.
Causes of Natural Resource Depletion
There are several causes which describe the main reasons for natural resource depletion. However, the most prominent reasons are the followings:
Do you know what the population of the world is? Well, according to Worldometer, the worldwide population till 2020 is 7.8 billion.
Although the rate of increase has decreased from the previous years, our world population is still advancing by 80 million people or 1.05% per year. Further, according to the latest population research, the global community will become 10 billion in 2057.
Here are all the problems regarding our environment. We are born from nature, and our nature has the power to rejuvenate itself. But recovery takes time, and we are consuming all-natural resources at a rate that it will never get a chance to refill itself.
A large population demands a massive quantity of food, which promotes more agricultural practices. Further, we all need land for a living.
Both Agriculture and civilization require an enormous land area on the earth, which attracts the idea to deteriorate our forests and natural ecosystems.
Thus, as long as the population increases, we will lose our landmass, forests, water, minerals, and other natural resources.
Careless use of natural resources
From the previous section, we grasp that increased population is the primary cause of natural resource depletion. Still, will this happen if we use our limited resources carefully?
Of course, modernization and industrialization need more and more raw materials. But, if we can’t create the root sources for survival, we have no right to destroy it.
You might be amazed by listening to this. In 1972, the consumption of natural resources was 27 billion tons, which has increased to 100 billion tons this year (including recycled materials).
Globally, the exhausted minerals include iron ore, coal, bauxite, and potash. And these are the non-renewal natural resources.
Furthermore, according to recent statistics, the United States is the top consumer of water. Due to limited freshwater resources, it is expected that most parts of the world, including developing countries, will face problems regarding water scarcity.
Do you think this is the careful use of natural resources?
Contamination of natural resource
Pollution is one of the primary causes of natural resource depletion. As compared to the past decades, the most dangerous consequences are seen through the contamination of air and water.
Besides, several other types of contaminants cause soil, noise, and radiation like pollution. In air pollution, Bangladesh is said to be the most polluted country in 2019. And Delhi, India as the most polluted city globally.
You can also see statistics on pollution of our most valuable assets; This reveals the reality that not only we are wasting a considerable amount of our natural resources, but we are also making it unavailable for use by different types of contaminants.
Forest is our most valuable asset on which we are dependent directly or indirectly. All the materials we are using or consuming are extracted from the forests. Still, we underestimate its existence and try to destroy it for our greed.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the annual deforestation rate is around 1.3 million km2 per decade worldwide.
Further, the top reasons for it are agriculture (~80%), new constructions (~15%), and urbanization (~5%).
From these data, it’s evident that deforestation is the primary cause of instability in our ecosystem, soil erosion, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, climate change, global warming, and all the worse kinds of issues we are facing nowadays.
Miserable agricultural practice
Last but not the least cause of natural resource depletion is the unintelligent use of chemicals for fulfilling the food need of the large population.
Yes, land plays a significant role for us; It serves us food, and we live on it without overthinking. Still, we are experimenting on it by applying large quantities of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
This not only contaminates the quality of foods we are eating but also becomes the reason for soil infertility.
Further, these destroy the soil microorganisms, crucial for maintaining the soil’s nutrients and making it fertile.
This is the huge reason why we lack phosphorus at a tremendous rate, which is an essential mineral for the healthy growth of plants and crops.
Effects of Depletion of Natural Resources
After knowing what causes the depletion of natural resources, we are now ready to grasp the consequences we are facing and what we will face in the future. Let’s see one by one.
Climate change and global warming are two alternative words used for describing the same kind of problem. Due to our natural forests’ depletion, which are our significant natural resources, lots of issues are arising in a chain.
Climate change is the change in the local weather over decades, which hampers our daily life. The global temperature has increased by 2º than it ever existed. So this is the most significant consequence of natural resource depletion.
Oil and mineral depletion
Due to the increased population, there is a need for fuels for several purposes and minerals for survival. As a result, lots of mining activities are going on. However, oil and minerals are the non-renewable natural resources, and their depletion will lead us to severe damage in the future.
These resources necessitate millions of years to form, and with the rate at which we are utilizing fossil fuels and minerals, the day is not far when we will face scarcity of these.
Instability in the ecosystem
Further, the result of natural resource depletion is instability in the ecosystem. Due to deforestation, forest ecosystem loss occurs; This causes instability in food chains and food waves, and thus species fragmentation, extinction like issues arise.
Scarcity of drinking water
Another enormous consequence of natural resource depletion is the scarcity of drinking water. As the water pollution rate increases, there will not be a pure source of drinking water.
Again the groundwater resources are losing due to the cutting of forests and soil pollution; This is because rapid agriculture on a single land causes the removal of the topsoil. And trees help rainwater to penetrate deeper into the soil.
Many countries are already there that are not reachable to portable water, and if this continues soon, all developing and developed countries will also face water scarcity.
Protection of Natural Resources
- The measure should be taken for the sustainable use of natural resources.
- We should switch to sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar energy rather than using fossil fuels.
- Moderate mining activity.
- Deforestation should be equal or less to the activities of reforestation.
- For protecting our fishes as part of the aquatic ecosystem, we should practice sustainable fishing.
- Further, we should take measures against food wastage.
- Strict measures should be taken to control the contamination of our natural resources like water.
- Also, we should reduce our plastic usage and learn the act of recycling.
- To spread awareness for the conservation of natural resources.
- Increase use of renewable resources as they are environment friendly.
Our natural resources are the soul of our earth, and we all depended on them directly or indirectly. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to take control measures and find the right solution for the depletion of all natural resources.
As the most intelligent creature of the universe, let’s take a vow to spread awareness for protecting our natural resources. In that way, it will remain for longer.
So, this is all about the causes and effects of natural resource depletion with solutions. We hope this is helpful to you. If you still have queries comment down or contact us. For more such content, follow us.