Water shortages occur whenever the use of fresh water outstrips the supply from precipitation and the water cycle. While wasted water re-enters the water cycle and is eventually available again for re-use, the time necessary for water to pass into the water table and replenish aquifers means that overuse can temporarily drain these important water sources. Dry weather can also cause shortages due to a lack of replenishing precipitation.Know More
A major source of water overuse is agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the freshwater use in the world, and as much as 60 percent of that water is wasted due to poorly maintained irrigation equipment or poor irrigation techniques. This excess water simply runs off of farmland or is absorbed through the ground back into the water table, but it can take a considerable amount of time for it to return to the aquifer that initially supplied it.
Water shortages can also be economic in nature. Especially in dry regions of the globe, access to water can be extremely important, and communities may feud over rights to a particular reservoir. In some cases, water may be pumped from a source over a significant distance to provide water for citizens in dry areas, leaving those in the source region lacking their natural water supply.Learn More
There is some debate among scientists as to the number of terrestrial or land biomes, but most lists include desert, tundra, tropical rainforest, temperate forest and temperate grassland. Most scientists also list savannah, taiga, chaparral, and the alpine or polar biomes.Full Answer >
Animals help maintain the Earth's natural environments by predating upon plants and other animals, pollinating various plants, and exhaling carbon dioxide, which green plants require to live. Additionally, animals help to fertilize plants via their droppings, which provide nutrition for plants, and seed-dispersal tendencies, which help plants to disperse through habitats. Once they die, animals also serve as food for microorganisms and supplemental minerals for plants.Full Answer >
An invasive species is any organism that causes damage to an ecosystem in which it did not originate. An invasive species may cause reduced biodiversity and extinction of other plants and animals in a new environment incapable of defending against its effects.Full Answer >
The pine cones typically thought of as pine cones are actually the bigger female pine cones; male pine cones are not as woody and are much smaller in size. Female pine cones hold the seeds whereas male pine cones contain the pollen. Most conifers, or cone-bearing trees, have female and male pine cones on the same tree.Full Answer >