What is the definition of depletion of natural resources? What are the reasons for the depletion of natural resources?

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txmedteach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Depletion of natural resources is generally accepted to be when natural resources are consumed at a greater rate than they are produced. Classic examples would be the use of oil or the harvesting of trees on a large scale from forests.

Oil takes an estimated hundreds of thousands of years to produce, but the world uses roughly 90 billion barrels of oil (petroleum) each day. Given how long it takes to produce oil, we may as well ignore the rate of production when considering how much we use! 

Trees are an example of a natural resource we were depleting, but we have found a solution to their loss. Trees take years to develop from lowly seeds, but they take mere seconds to cut down with modern technology. Deforestation, which is a loaded term that basically means cutting down more trees in a given area than are produced in a given period of time, became such a concern that now alternatives have decreased the rate of tree loss. Awareness of the issues caused by deforestation has encouraged sustainable use of wood; however, we have a ways to go before our consumption is less than or equal to the natural production of timber.