Natural resources are derived from the environment. They form through biogeochemical and physical processes within the Earth and on the Earth’s surface where interaction between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and cryosphere takes place. A natural resource may exist as a separate entity such as sunlight, air, and fresh water, as well as living organisms such as birds or fish, or may exist in an a form that must be processed to obtain the resource – including metal and mineral ores as well as coal, oil, and gas. Because natural resources underpin our economic systems, there is much debate over...

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