About This Chapter
Earth's Energy Resources - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter look at energy's significance in nature and the process of converting energy sources to a form we can use. You'll find out about types of resources, such as nuclear and wind energy, and explore the advantages and disadvantages of their extraction and use.
Our instructors will explain how technologies are being developed to make some types of energy production more friendly to the environment. When you've finished these lessons, you should have a better understanding of:
- The definition of energy
- The process and consequences of converting energy sources to useful forms
- Differences in renewable and non-renewable resources
- The environmental impact of coal mining
- Extraction of oil and natural gas reserves
- Hydraulic fracturing to obtain shale gas
- Advantages and disadvantages of wind energy
- Pros and cons of geothermal energy
Our video lessons are designed and taught by experts, and you can contact them if you have additional questions. They average about five minutes in length, and you can watch as your schedule allows. Every lesson contains a short quiz that lets you assess your knowledge, with links back to the lesson to review the areas where your learning is weak.
1. What is Energy? - Definition and Significance in Nature
This lesson describes the nature of energy and how it is transferred from one source into another. Additionally, it will describe the significance of energy in natural systems.
2. Converting Sources of Energy to Useful Forms
Learn about the many sources of energy humans rely on and how we convert them into forms that we can actually use for practical purposes. Take a quiz and see how much you've absorbed.
3. Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources: Definition & Differences
We use a variety of Earth's resources, but not all of them will be around forever. This lesson explains the difference between resources that can be regenerated for our use and those that are gone after they are used once.
4. What Are Fossil Fuels? - Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages
Fossil fuels are sources of energy that have developed within the earth over millions of years. Because fossil fuels - oil, natural gas, and coal - take so long to form, they are considered nonrenewable. Learn more about these fuels, including the pros and cons of using them.
5. Coal Mining: Environmental Impacts and Technologies Used To Make Cleaner Coal
Coal is an abundant fuel source, but burning coal is problematic for the environment. In this lesson, you will learn about clean coal technologies, such as coal washing, flue gas desulfurization systems, low-NOx burners, gasification, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
6. Oil and Natural Gas Reserves: Availability, Extraction and Use
Oil and natural gas reserves are found underground and must be extracted using a drilling method. In this lesson you will learn about the many uses of oil and natural gas, the availability of these valuable resources and how they are extracted.
7. Shale Gas: Hydraulic Fracturing and Environmental Concerns
Shale gas is a type of natural gas that is found trapped within sedimentary rock. It is extracted using a procedure called hydraulic fracturing. In this lesson, you will learn about hydraulic fracturing and the environmental concerns raised by use of this extraction technique.
8. What is Nuclear Energy? - Definition & Examples
You've probably heard of nuclear energy. But what is it? And what is the difference between fusion and fission? This lesson will answer your questions about this exciting form of energy that involves atoms and their nuclei.
9. What is Solar Energy? - Definition, Pros & Cons
Learn about solar energy and how charged particles from the sun travel to Earth to provide heat and light. Explore solar energy as a direct and indirect energy source and examine the pros and cons of harvesting solar energy for other uses.
10. Biomass for Renewable Energy: Pros and Cons
Biomass is organic material that can be used to generate heat, electricity, and even fuel. In this lesson, you will learn about the advantages of this abundant and renewable energy source as well as the disadvantages.
11. Wind Energy: Pros and Cons
Wind energy is a renewable form of energy that involves harnessing the natural energy of the wind. Learn how wind is used to generate electricity and the pros and cons of this energy source.
12. Hydropower: Pros and Cons
Hydropower is power generated from moving water. Learn how this energy from water can be harnessed by hydropower plants to generate electricity as well as the pros and cons of this renewable energy source.
13. Geothermal Energy: Advantages and Disadvantages
Geothermal energy is heat energy that is stored within the earth. Learn the methods being used to tap into this thermal energy to heat buildings and generate electricity as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this renewable energy source.
14. Tidal Energy: Advantages and Disadvantages
The tides move a massive amount of water, and the energy from this moving water, known as tidal energy, can be captured and converted into electricity. Learn how tidal energy works and the advantages and disadvantages of this energy source.
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Other chapters within the Earth Science: Middle School course
- Earth's Spheres & Structure
- Understanding Plate Tectonics
- Understanding Earthquakes
- Understanding Volcanoes
- Rock Deformation & Mountain Building
- Shaping the Earth's Surface
- Thermal Energy
- Energy in the Earth System
- Ecology & Ecosystems
- Earth's Material Resources
- Earth Science Investigation & Experimentation