Luckily, the naturally occurring processes of geology concentrate on the minerals and metals that become valuable in daily human activities and convert them into forms that are useful to us. These processes enable people to take these minerals and metals out of the ground using fewer efforts, and this is caused by the manner in which plate tectonics function naturally.
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Humans have been very successful species compared to other species, and about 250,000 years ago, just a small percentage of human species resided on Earth. However, in 2000, the Earth’s human population went above 6 million, and the effects of this population on the planet are massive.
The solar System consists of the five dwarf planets, eight planets, and the Sun, and their 174 identified moons, comets, and asteroids, where the planets, comets, and asteroids rotate around the Sun, which is the core of the Solar System (Backman and Seeds 414). This paper discusses the process of plate tectonics, ways humans have altered the planet, and the composition of the Solar System.
Plate Tectonics and Natural Sciences
Certainly, it is only the natural series of ocean rifting and the movement of the ocean seafloor through the mantle, the plate movement above another plate in the mantle, and eventually the succeeding volcanism, which completes the process of plate tectonics to make minerals and metals valuable (Stille, Larson and Young 13).
For instance, gold contains around three parts per billion in crust of the Earth, and this is equivalent to 0.0000003% of the Earth’s crust, and to create a wedding band, it is required to break up and crustal rock, around 3000 tons, is used to extract these minerals and metals (Pani 137). Unfortunately, this is impossible, but the processes of geologic have the capacity to perform this.
These processes of plate tectonics concentrate minerals and metals using approaches that prevent people from performing the same. Currently, there are exemptions with such minerals, for example, sand and gravel, which are found in inadequate concentrations that people may use them directly from the Earth’s surface.
For most metals and minerals, people require certain processes to concentrate these elements, and the atoms for bigger elements simply do not fit into the structures of the silicate minerals. When forming minerals, they should attain two measures, the electrical charge of dissimilar ions should balance to be zero, but the dissimilar sizes of the ions should be equal as well.
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Accordingly, these elements are likely to be the first to dissolve and immediately depart a rock, and in hydrothermal circulation across the mid-ocean ridge network, there is the heat that brings about an expansion of water and later emerges in the seafloor in forms of thermal chimneys or big smokers.
During the process, this pulls water towards the rock for a broad area that encloses the ridge, and as the water goes into the rock, it starts to boil over and dissolves those elements that later leave the rock. Therefore, it focuses and concentrates all the heavy materials and is transformed into the hot liquid, and as the liquid leaves the mid-ocean ridge, it becomes frozen and freezes or solidifies out to the ground (Silverstein and Silverstein 32).
Therefore, valuable minerals and metals are pulled out of the mid-ocean ridge and are placed on the surface of the ocean seafloor. The ocean seafloor goes into a subduction zone that concentrates the elements even more, and different sediments get pieced off and become these huge accretionary wedges found along the continents.
After some time, probably within a continent collision, which accretionary wedge turns into a section of a mountain range, and finally uncovered through erosion (Luongo 44). The erosion process concentrates the minerals and metals even more, and this makes plate tectonics a very important course.
A great quantity of more concentration happens through a hydrothermal motion at the continental arc volcanoes or island arc volcanoes, and seduction regions are luckily to contain the richest mineral and metal elements since the process of plate tectonics, or geology processes occur around these zones.
Ways Humans have Altered the Planet
Human have changed almost 50% of the earth surface to use it for forestry (11%), farming (11%), grazing land (26%) and the remaining parts have been changed to other activities such as transportation, factories, and other human activities as well, which have altered availability and existence of natural resources (Spoolman and Miller 126).
They have also deformed the flow of around 75% of the natural rivers through creating artificial lakes and rivers for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and other commercial activities, as well as distorting natural ecology. The oceans have been altered by humans, and even though they use just 8% of the main output of the oceans, two-thirds of sea fisheries have been exploited to their maximum or farther than expected.
Agricultural fertilizer, deforestation, human waste, overhunting, human forest encroachment, industrial emission, and other major and minor human activities have contributed to the alteration of natural growth of plants and animals.
Climate has changed due to daily human activities, and carbon dioxide has gained a bigger deal of concentration from different studies on climate change since it is a ‘greenhouse gas.’ Greenhouse gasses absorb the heat discharged by the planet, and this causes warming of the planet and atmosphere. Methane is also greenhouse gas, but it is less profuse than carbon dioxide, and some are more potent.
Methane is mostly released from factories and makes only 1.8 ppm of the air, but it is around 20 times stronger as a greenhouse emission than carbon dioxide (Richardson, Steffen and Liverman 30). Regardless of their minimal input to the composition of the air, greenhouse emissions have a great impact on climate change.
With the absence of a greenhouse, the standard temperature on the planet would be about 18 °C rather than a preferred 14 °C, and due to this strength, even small changes in their composition may have a huge impact on temperature.
Through the application of fertilizers for agricultural reasons, people have a distorted nitrogen cycle, and the quantity of nitrogen going into the cycle is twice the amount in the last century. Humans now give 50% more to the nitrogen cycle than all other species combined, and the occurrence of excess nitrogen has brought about undue growth, which has resulted in poor forest soils.
High nitrogen content in ocean brings about poisonous marine plants and creation of oxygen-free ‘dead’ regions and through burning fossil fuels, people have raised carbon dioxide concentration in the planet by around 35% through pre-industrial stages, and raised the methane concentration in the planet by around 150% over natural stages (Maestripieri 992).
The use of fossil fuel is nearly connected with growing global temperatures, and humans have gained a huge impact on the lives of the planet’s animals and plants. Since 1600, 656 plant species and 485 plant species have been wiped out, and humans have brought about other animals and plant species to vanish from the planet, less directly, but simply as eternally through removing them from the essential environment.
Composition of the Solar System
Several contributors of the solar system rotate around the Sun in nearly spherical courses or orbits, and every planet rotates around the Sun in the anticlockwise path, if observed from the top. The Sun includes about 99.8% of the entire substances in the solar system, and the planets, which are compacted out of a similar disk of elements that created the Sun, contain just 0.135 percent of the collection of solar Systems (Irwin 25).
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Jupiter contains above 50% of the components matched up to other planets put together, and around 0.02 percent of the components found in the Solar System are contained in satellites. The Sun, which contains almost all the elements in the Solar System, is made up of around 98 percent helium and hydrogen, while Saturn and Jupiter have atmospheres that are made up of around 99 percent of helium and hydrogen (Encrenaz 83).
Solar System also contains composition gradients that are generated by light and heat force produced from the Sun, and some substances, which are located near the Sun and are greatly affected by light and heat force, are made up of compositions with greater melting points and can be accommodated by these elements.
Elements that are far from the Sun are made up of matters with lesser melting points, and the border in the solar System where these unstable materials might condense is identified as the frost line and is found at 4 Astronomical Units from the Sun.
The elements of the internal solar System are made up mainly of rock, which is a joint term for compounds with greater melting points, which stay in solid forms in nearly all states in the protoplanetary nebula (Encrenaz 83).
The theory of plate tectonics supports in understanding how and where metals and minerals are formed and shows how plate tectonics essential in our daily lives. Some consider that this geological process is very important for the growth of humans, and might be employed in the future as a biosignature to identify livable regions.
Plate tectonics helps in changing forms of metals and minerals to be more useful to human activities through the process of concentration. Lastly, plate tectonics describes mostly the major surface marks and activities on the planet. These are earthquakes, faults, hills, mountains, volcanoes, and even the foundation of the ocean basins and continents.
The severe effects of human activities on our natural environment depend mainly on the rate at which the population is growing and the growing needs, as well as the impact of existing waste disposal. In several cases, the human effect on the planet goes beyond that of all other species on Earth combined and now evident that the expectations and prospects of our Earth are in human’s inexperienced hands.
The composition of the Solar System includes five dwarf planets, eight planets, and the Sun, and their 174 identified moons, gas, comets, and satellites. The Sun consists of most of the elements of the Solar System, and the planets have a different composition of the elements of the solar system.
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Encrenaz, Thérèse. The Solar System. Paris: Springer, 2004. Print.
Irwin, Patrick. Giant Planets of Our Solar System: Atmospheres, Composition, and Structure. Oxford: Springer, 2009. Print.
Luongo, Charlotte. Plate Tectonics. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2009. Print.
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