This article's lead section may be too short to adequately summarize the key points. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. (March 2022)
Tar sands in Alberta, 2008. Oil is one of the most used resources by humans.
Tar sands in Alberta, 2008. Oil is one of the most used resources by humans.

Resource depletion is the consumption of a resource faster than it can be replenished. Natural resources are commonly divided between renewable resources and non-renewable resources (see also mineral resource classification). Use of either of these forms of resources beyond their rate of replacement is considered to be resource depletion.[1] The value of a resource is a direct result of its availability in nature and the cost of extracting the resource, the more a resource is depleted the more the value of the resource increases.[2] There are several types of resource depletion, the most known being: Aquifer depletion, deforestation, mining for fossil fuels and minerals, pollution or contamination of resources, slash-and-burn agricultural practices, soil erosion, and overconsumption, excessive or unnecessary use of resources.

Resource depletion is most commonly used in reference to farming, fishing, mining, water usage, and consumption of fossil fuels.[2] Depletion of wildlife populations is called defaunation.[3]

Depletion accounting

Main article: Depletion (accounting)

In an effort to offset the depletion of resources, theorists have come up with the concept of depletion accounting. Better known as 'green accounting,' depletion accounting aims to account for nature's value on an equal footing with the market economy.[4] Resource depletion accounting uses data provided from countries to estimate the adjustments needed due to their use and depletion of the natural capital available to them.[5] Natural capital are natural resources such as mineral deposits or timber stocks. Depletion accounting factors in several different influences such as the number of years until resource exhaustion, the cost of resource extraction and the demand of the resource.[5] Resource extraction industries make up a large part of the economic activity in developing countries. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of resource depletion and environmental degradation in developing countries.[5] Theorists argue that implementation of resource depletion accounting is necessary in developing countries. Depletion accounting also seeks to measure the social value of natural resources and ecosystems.[6] Measurement of social value is sought through ecosystem services, which are defined as the benefits of nature to households, communities and economies.[6]

Importance

There are many different groups interested in depletion accounting. Environmentalists are interested in depletion accounting as a way to track the use of natural resources over time, hold governments accountable or compare their environmental conditions to those of another country.[4] Economists want to measure resource depletion to understand how financially reliant countries or corporations are on non-renewable resources, whether this use can be sustained and the financial drawbacks of switching to renewable resources in light of the depleting resources.[4]

Issues

Depletion accounting is complex to implement as nature is not as quantifiable as cars, houses, or bread.[4] For depletion accounting to work, appropriate units of natural resources must be established so that natural resources can be viable in the market economy. The main issues that arise when trying to do so are, determining a suitable unit of account, deciding how to deal with the "collective" nature of a complete ecosystem, delineating the borderline of the ecosystem, and defining the extent of possible duplication when the resource interacts in more than one ecosystem.[4] Some economists want to include measurement of the benefits arising from public goods provided by nature, but currently there are no market indicators of value.[4] Globally, environmental economics has not been able to provide a consensus of measurement units of nature's services.

Minerals depletion

Main article: Peak minerals

Minerals are needed to provide food, clothing, and housing. A United States Geological Survey (USGS) study found a significant long-term trend over the 20th century for non-renewable resources such as minerals to supply a greater proportion of the raw material inputs to the non-fuel, non-food sector of the economy; an example is the greater consumption of crushed stone, sand, and gravel used in construction.[7]

Large-scale exploitation of minerals began in the Industrial Revolution around 1760 in England and has grown rapidly ever since. Technological improvements have allowed humans to dig deeper and access lower grades and different types of ore over that time.[8][9][10] Virtually all basic industrial metals (copper, iron, bauxite, etc.), as well as rare earth minerals, face production output limitations from time to time,[11] because supply involves large up-front investments and is therefore slow to respond to rapid increases in demand.[9]

Minerals projected by some to enter production decline during the next 20 years:

Minerals projected by some to enter production decline during the present century:

Such projections may change, as new discoveries are made[13] and typically misinterpret available data on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves.[9][10]

Petroleum

Oil depletion is the decline in oil production of a well, oil field, or geographic area.[17] The Hubbert peak theory makes predictions of production rates based on prior discovery rates and anticipated production rates. Hubbert curves predict that the production curves of non-renewing resources approximate a bell curve. Thus, according to this theory, when the peak of production is passed, production rates enter an irreversible decline.[18][19]

The United States Energy Information Administration predicted in 2006 that world consumption of oil will increase to 98.3 million barrels per day (15,630,000 m3/d) (mbd) in 2015 and 118 million barrels per day in 2030.[20] With 2009 world oil consumption at 84.4 mbd,[21] reaching the projected 2015 level of consumption would represent an average annual increase between 2009 and 2015 of 2.7% per year.

Deforestation

Deforestation in New Zealand.
Deforestation in New Zealand.
Satellite image of deforestation in progress in eastern Bolivia. Worldwide, 10% of wilderness areas were lost between 1990 and 2015.[22]
Satellite image of deforestation in progress in eastern Bolivia. Worldwide, 10% of wilderness areas were lost between 1990 and 2015.[22]
Forest Landscape Integrity Index showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest.[23]
Forest Landscape Integrity Index showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest.[23]
Annual deforestation
Annual deforestation
Annual change in forest area
Annual change in forest area

Deforestation or forest clearance is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use.[24] Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use. The most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests.[25] About 31% of Earth's land surface is covered by forests at present.[26] This is one-third less than the forest cover before the expansion of agriculture, a half of that loss occurring in the last century.[27] Between 15 million to 18 million hectares of forest, an area the size of Bangladesh, are destroyed every year. On average 2,400 trees are cut down each minute.[28]

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines deforestation as the conversion of forest to other land uses (regardless of whether it is human-induced). "Deforestation" and "forest area net change" are not the same: the latter is the sum of all forest losses (deforestation) and all forest gains (forest expansion) in a given period. Net change, therefore, can be positive or negative, depending on whether gains exceed losses, or vice versa.[29]

The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and aridity. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations, as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record.[30] Deforestation also reduces biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing negative feedback cycles contributing to global warming. Global warming also puts increased pressure on communities who seek food security by clearing forests for agricultural use and reducing arable land more generally. Deforested regions typically incur significant other environmental effects such as adverse soil erosion and degradation into wasteland.

The resilience of human food systems and their capacity to adapt to future change is linked to biodiversity – including dryland-adapted shrub and tree species that help combat desertification, forest-dwelling insects, bats and bird species that pollinate crops, trees with extensive root systems in mountain ecosystems that prevent soil erosion, and mangrove species that provide resilience against flooding in coastal areas.[31] With climate change exacerbating the risks to food systems, the role of forests in capturing and storing carbon and mitigating climate change is important for the agricultural sector.[31]


Controlling deforestation

This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: The article is far too long and detailed: needs to be rewritten in summary style. Also not clear what the results were or whether it continues. Please help improve this article if you can. (December 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) was first negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2005, with the objective of mitigating climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries. Most of the key REDD+ decisions were completed by 2013, with the final pieces of the rulebook finished in 2015.

Since 2000, various studies estimate that land use change, including deforestation and forest degradation, accounts for 12-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions.[32][33][34] For this reason the inclusion of reducing emissions from land use change is considered essential to achieve the objectives of the UNFCCC.[35]

During the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol, and then in particular its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the inclusion of tropical forest management was debated but eventually dropped due to anticipated methodological difficulties in establishing – in particular – additionality and leakage (detrimental effects outside of the project area attributable to project activities). What remained on forestry was "Afforestation and Reforestation", sectoral scope 14 of the CDM. Under this sectoral scope areas of land that had no forest cover since 1990 could be replanted with commercial or indigenous tree species. In its first eight years of operation 52 projects had been registered under the "Afforestation and Reforestation" scope of the CDM.[36] The cumbersome administrative procedures and corresponding high transaction costs are often blamed for this slow uptake. Beyond the CDM, all developed countries that were parties to the Kyoto Protocol also committed to measuring and reporting on efforts to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from forests.

Wetlands

Main article: Wetland

Wetlands are ecosystems that are often saturated by enough surface or groundwater to sustain vegetation that is usually adapted to saturated soil conditions, such as cattails, bulrushes, red maples, wild rice, blackberries, cranberries, and peat moss.[37] Because some varieties of wetlands are rich in minerals and nutrients and provide many of the advantages of both land and water environments they contain diverse species and provide a distinct basis for the food chain. Wetland habitats contribute to environmental health and biodiversity.[37] Wetlands are a nonrenewable resource on a human timescale and in some environments cannot ever be renewed.[38] Recent studies indicate that global loss of wetlands could be as high as 87% since 1700 AD, with 64% of wetland loss occurring since 1900.[38] Some loss of wetlands resulted from natural causes such as erosion, sedimentation, subsidence, and a rise in the sea level.[37]

Wetlands provide environmental services for:

  1. Food and habitat
  2. Improving water quality
  3. Commercial fishing
  4. Floodwater reduction
  5. Shoreline stabilization
  6. Recreation

Resource in wetland

Some of the world's most successful agricultural areas are wetlands that have been drained and converted to farmland for large-scale agriculture.[37] Large-scale draining of wetlands also occurs for real estate development and urbanization.[39] In contrast, in some cases wetlands are also flooded to be converted to recreational lakes or hydropower generation.[37] In some countries ranchers have also moved their property onto wetlands for grazing due to the nutrient rich vegetation.[39] Wetlands in Southern America also prove a fruitful resource for poachers, as animals with valuable hides such a jaguars, maned wolves, caimans, and snakes are drawn to wetlands.[39] The effect of the removal of large predators is still unknown in South African wetlands.[39]

Humans benefit from wetlands in indirect ways as well. Wetlands act as natural water filters, when runoff from either natural or man-made processes pass through, wetlands can have a neutralizing effect.[40] If a wetland is in between an agricultural zone and a freshwater ecosystem, fertilizer runoff will be absorbed by the wetland and used to fuel the slow processes that occur happen, by the time the water reaches the freshwater ecosystem there won't be enough fertilizer to cause destructive algal blooms that poison freshwater ecosystems.[40]

Bramiana Wetlands
Bramiana Wetlands

Non-natural causes of wetland degradation

To preserve the resources extracted from wetlands, current strategies are to rank wetlands and prioritize the conservation of wetlands with more environmental services, create more efficient irrigation for wetlands being used for agriculture and restricting access to wetlands by tourists.[39]

Further information: Wetland conservation

Groundwater

Groundwater flow paths vary greatly in length, depth and travel time from points of recharge to points of discharge in the groundwater system
Groundwater flow paths vary greatly in length, depth and travel time from points of recharge to points of discharge in the groundwater system

Main article: Overdrafting

Water is an essential resource needed to survive everyday life. Historically, water has had a profound influence on a nation's prosperity and success around the world.[41] Groundwater is water that is in saturated zones underground, the upper surface of the saturated zone is called the water table.[42] Groundwater is held in the pores and fractures of underground materials like sand, gravel and other rock, these rock materials are called aquifers.[42] Groundwater can either flow naturally out of rock materials or can be pumped out. Groundwater supplies wells and aquifers for private, agricultural, and public use and is used by more than a third of the world's population every day for their drinking water. Globally there is 22.6 million cubic kilometers of groundwater available and only .35 million of that is renewable.[43]

Groundwater as a non-renewable resource

Groundwater is considered to be a non-renewable resource because less than six percent of the water around the world is replenished and renewed on a human timescale of 50 years.[44] People are already using non-renewable water that is thousands of years old, in areas like Egypt they are using water that may have been renewed a million years ago which is not renewable on human timescales.[43] Of the groundwater used for agriculture 16 to 33% is non-renewable.[45] It is estimated that since the 1960s groundwater extraction has more than doubled, which has increased groundwater depletion.[45] Due to this increase in depletion, in some of the most depleted areas use of groundwater for irrigation has become impossible or cost prohibitive.[46]

Environmental impacts

Overusing groundwater, old or young, can lower subsurface water levels and dry up streams, which could have a huge effect on ecosystems on the surface.[43] When the most easily recoverable fresh groundwater is removed this leaves a residual with inferior water quality. This is in part from induced leakage from the land surface, confining layers or adjacent aquifers that contain saline or contaminated water.[46] Worldwide the magnitude of groundwater depletion from storage may be so large as to constitute a measurable contributor to sea-level rise.[45]

Mitigation

Currently, societies respond to water-resource depletion by shifting management objectives from location and developing new supplies to augmenting conserving and reallocation of existing supplies.[46] There are two different perspectives to groundwater depletion, the first is that depletion is considered literally and simply as a reduction in the volume of water in the saturated zone, regardless of water quality considerations.[46] A second perspective views depletion as a reduction in the usable volume of fresh groundwater in storage.[46]

Augmenting supplies can mean improving water quality or increasing water quantity. Depletion due to quality considerations can be overcome by treatment, whereas large volume metric depletion can only be alleviated by decreasing discharge or increasing recharge.[46] Artificial recharge of storm flow and treated municipal wastewater, has successfully reversed groundwater declines.[46] In the future improved infiltration and recharge technologies will be more widely used to maximize the capture of runoff and treated wastewater.

See also

References

  1. ^ Höök, M.; Bardi, U.; Feng, L.; Pang., X. (2010). "Development of oil formation theories and their importance for peak oil" (PDF). Marine and Petroleum Geology. 27 (9): 1995–2004. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2010.06.005. hdl:2158/777257.
  2. ^ a b Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources: The Economic Value of the World's Ecosystems — How Much is Nature Worth? The Role of Forests and Habitat
  3. ^ Dirzo, Rodolfo; Hillary S. Young; Mauro Galetti; Gerardo Ceballos; Nick J. B. Isaac; Ben Collen (2014). "Defaunation in the Anthropocene" (PDF). Science. 345 (6195): 401–406. Bibcode:2014Sci...345..401D. doi:10.1126/science.1251817. PMID 25061202. S2CID 206555761.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Boyd, James (15 March 2007). "Nonmarket benefits of nature: What should be counted in green GDP?". Ecological Economics. 61 (4): 716–723. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.06.016.
  5. ^ a b c Vincent, Jeffrey (February 2000). "Green accounting: from theory to practice". Environment and Development Economics. 5: 13–24. doi:10.1017/S1355770X00000024. S2CID 155001289.
  6. ^ a b Banzhafa, Spencer; Boyd, James (August 2007). "What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units" (PDF). Ecological Economics. 63 (2–3): 616–626. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.01.002.
  7. ^ Materials Flow and Sustainability, US Geological Survey.Fact Sheet FS-068-98, June 1998.
  8. ^ West, J (2011). "Decreasing metal ore grades: are they really being driven by the depletion of high-grade deposits?". J Ind Ecol. 15 (2): 165–168. doi:10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00334.x.
  9. ^ a b c Drielsma, Johannes A; Russell-Vaccari, Andrea J; Drnek, Thomas; Brady, Tom; Weihed, Pär; Mistry, Mark; Perez Simbor, Laia (2016). "Mineral resources in life cycle impact assessment—defining the path forward". Int J Life Cycle Assess. 21 (1): 85–105. doi:10.1007/s11367-015-0991-7.
  10. ^ a b c Meinert, Lawrence D; Robinson, Gilpin R Jr; Nassar, Nedal T (2016). "Mineral Resources: Reserves, Peak Production and the Future". Resources. 5 (14): 14. doi:10.3390/resources5010014.
  11. ^ Klare, M. T. (2012). The Race for What's Left. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 9781250023971.
  12. ^ Valero & Valero(2010)による『Physical geonomics: Combining the exergy and Hubbert peak analysis for predicting mineral resources depletion』から
  13. ^ a b c d e Valero, Alicia; Valero, Antonio (2010). "Physical geonomics: Combining the exergy and Hubbert peak analysis for predicting mineral resources depletion". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 54 (12): 1074–1083. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.02.010.
  14. ^ Zinc Depletion
  15. ^ Jenkin, G. R. T.; Lusty, P. A. J.; McDonald, I; Smith, M. P.; Boyce, A. J.; Wilkinson, J. J. (2014). "Ore Deposits in an Evolving Earth" (PDF). Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 393: 265–276. doi:10.1144/SP393.13. S2CID 53488911.
  16. ^ Hitzman, M. W.; Reynolds, N. A.; Sangster, D. F.; Allen, C. R.; Carman, C. F. (2003). "Classification, genesis, and exploration guides for Nonsulfide Zinc deposits". Economic Geology. 98 (4): 685–714. doi:10.2113/gsecongeo.98.4.685.
  17. ^ US Energy Information Administration, Accelerated depletion
  18. ^ M. King Hubbert (June 1956). "Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels 'Drilling and Production Practice'" (PDF). API. p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  19. ^ Hirsch, Robert L.; Bezdek, Roger; Wendling, Robert (February 2005). "Peaking Of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management" (PDF). Science Applications International Corporation/U.S.Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. Retrieved 2022-05-08.
  20. ^ "International Energy Outlook 2011 - Energy Information Administration" (PDF). Eia.doe.gov. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  21. ^ "Total Consumption of Petroleum Products (Thousand Barrels Per Day)". Archived from the original on 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  22. ^ "Un dizième des terres sauvages ont disparu en deux décennies" (Radio Télévision Suisse) citing Watson, James E.M.; Shanahan, Danielle F.; Di Marco, Moreno; Allan, James; Laurance, William F.; Sanderson, Eric W.; MacKey, Brendan; Venter, Oscar (2016). "Catastrophic Declines in Wilderness Areas Undermine Global Environment Targets". Current Biology. 26 (21): 2929–2934. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.08.049. PMID 27618267.
  23. ^ Grantham, H. S.; Duncan, A.; Evans, T. D.; Jones, K. R.; Beyer, H. L.; Schuster, R.; Walston, J.; Ray, J. C.; Robinson, J. G.; Callow, M.; Clements, T.; Costa, H. M.; DeGemmis, A.; Elsen, P. R.; Ervin, J.; Franco, P.; Goldman, E.; Goetz, S.; Hansen, A.; Hofsvang, E.; Jantz, P.; Jupiter, S.; Kang, A.; Langhammer, P.; Laurance, W. F.; Lieberman, S.; Linkie, M.; Malhi, Y.; Maxwell, S.; Mendez, M.; Mittermeier, R.; Murray, N. J.; Possingham, H.; Radachowsky, J.; Saatchi, S.; Samper, C.; Silverman, J.; Shapiro, A.; Strassburg, B.; Stevens, T.; Stokes, E.; Taylor, R.; Tear, T.; Tizard, R.; Venter, O.; Visconti, P.; Wang, S.; Watson, J. E. M. (2020). "Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity". Nature Communications. 11 (1): 5978. Bibcode:2020NatCo..11.5978G. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19493-3. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 7723057. PMID 33293507.
  24. ^ SAFnet Dictionary|Definition For [deforestation] Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Dictionary of forestry.org (29 July 2008). Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  25. ^ Bradford, Alina. (4 March 2015) Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects. Livescience.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  26. ^ Deforestation | Threats | WWF. Worldwildlife.org. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  27. ^ Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max (2021-02-09). "Forests and Deforestation". Our World in Data.
  28. ^ "On Water". European Investment Bank. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  29. ^ "Global Forest Resource Assessment 2020". www.fao.org. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  30. ^ Sahney, S.; Benton, M.J. & Falcon-Lang, H.J. (2010). "Rainforest collapse triggered Pennsylvanian tetrapod diversification in Euramerica". Geology. 38 (12): 1079–1082. Bibcode:2010Geo....38.1079S. doi:10.1130/G31182.1.
  31. ^ a b The State of the World's Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief. Rome: FAO & UNEP. 2020. doi:10.4060/ca8985en. ISBN 978-92-5-132707-4. S2CID 241416114.
  32. ^ Fearnside, Philip (2000). "Global warming and tropical land-use change: Greenhouse gas emissions from biomass burning, decomposition and soils in forest conversion, shifting cultivation and secondary vegetation". Climatic Change. 46: 115–158. doi:10.1023/a:1005569915357. S2CID 28422361.
  33. ^ Myers, Erin C. (December 2007). "Policies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Tropical Forests" (PDF). Resources Magazine: 7. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  34. ^ van der Werf, G.R.; Morton, D. C.; DeFries, R. S.; Olivier, J. G. J.; Kasibhatla, P. S.; Jackson, R. B.; Collatz, G. J.; Randerson, J. T. (November 2009). "CO2 emissions from forest loss". Nature Geoscience. 2 (11): 737–738. Bibcode:2009NatGe...2..737V. doi:10.1038/ngeo671.
  35. ^ Butler, Rhett (August 2009). "Big REDD". Washington Monthly. 41: 2.
  36. ^ "UNFCCC CDM project search page". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  37. ^ a b c d e f "Major Causes of Wetland Loss and Degradation". NCSU. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
  38. ^ a b Davidson, Nick C. (January 2014). "How much wetland has the world lost? Long-term and recent trends in global wetland area". Marine and Freshwater Research. 60: 936–941 – via ResearchGate.
  39. ^ a b c d e Keddy, Paul A. (2010). Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521739672.
  40. ^ a b Kachur, Torah (2 February 2017). "Don't drain the swamp! Why wetlands are so important". CBC. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  41. ^ Peterson, Erik; Posner, Rachel (January 2010). "The World's Water Challenge". Current History. 109 (723): 31–34. doi:10.1525/curh.2010.109.723.31.
  42. ^ a b "What is groundwater?". www.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  43. ^ a b c Chung, Emily. "Most Groundwater is Effectively a Non-renewable Resource, Study FInds". CBC News.
  44. ^ "Most groundwater is effectively a non-renewable resource, study finds".
  45. ^ a b c Wada, Yoshihide; Beek, Ludovicus P. H. van; Kempen, Cheryl M. van; Reckman, Josef W. T. M.; Vasak, Slavek; Bierkens, Marc F. P. (2010). "Global depletion of groundwater resources" (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters. 37 (20): n/a. Bibcode:2010GeoRL..3720402W. doi:10.1029/2010GL044571. hdl:1874/209122. ISSN 1944-8007.
  46. ^ a b c d e f g Konikow, Leonard F.; Kendy, Eloise (2005-03-01). "Groundwater depletion: A global problem". Hydrogeology Journal. 13 (1): 317–320. Bibcode:2005HydJ...13..317K. doi:10.1007/s10040-004-0411-8. ISSN 1435-0157. S2CID 21715061.

Further reading