Environment

We Will Not Run Out of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of plants and animals that died hundreds of millions of years ago, buried and transformed by heat and pressure. Since these fuels require millions of years to form, for human purposes, the supply of fossil fuels on Earth is effectively fixed. This has led to predictions — such as those based on the “peak oil” theory first proposed by geologist M. King Hubbert in 1956 — that the world will experience an economically damaging scarcity of fossil fuels, particularly oil.

Fossil fuel emissions

However, new technologies for oil and gas exploration and extraction have upended the notion of fossil fuel scarcity: The limiting factor on humans’ fossil fuel use will not be the exhaustion of economically recoverable fossil fuels, but the exhaustion of the Earth’s capacity to withstand the harmful byproducts of fossil fuel combustion.

For decades, energy producers have continually identified new fossil fuel reserves and developed technologies that enable people to economically recover oil and gas from deposits previously deemed too difficult to access. That has enabled cumulative fuel production to greatly exceed previous estimates of reserves.

For example, the Energy Information Administration reports that in 1977, the United States had just 32 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 207 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves. Between 1977 and 2010, the U.S. extracted 84 billion barrels of oil (2.6 times the 1977 reserve estimate) and 610 trillion cubic feet of gas (2.9 times the reserve estimate). And, large reserves remain. In fact, in recent years, the size of U.S. reserves has actually grown (by more than a third since 2011), primarily as a result of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technologies that enable economical access to oil and gas deposits trapped in underground rock formations.

Fuels production reserves

Even if no more fossil fuels were to be discovered or deemed extractable, our nations already possess far more reserves and recoverable resources worldwide than we can burn without destroying the climate. Humanity has burned just a small portion of our fossil fuels to date.

Even if no more fossil fuels were to be discovered or deemed extractable, our nations already possess far more reserves and recoverable resources worldwide than we can burn without destroying the climate. Humanity has burned just a small portion of our fossil fuels to date.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

These incredible cloud formations were pristine examples of “Kelvin-Helmholtz waves,” which develop when a fast-moving layer of fluid slides on top of a slower, thicker layer, dragging its surface and causing crests of the thick layer to lurch forward.

K h clouds 1

K h clouds 3 02

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Utah firefighters on Friday scrambled to control new blazes ahead of what could be a hot and dry weekend.

The Jaroso Fire burning in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico is growing fast and will keep on growing, as there is plenty of fuel in its path and fire officials say that right now they can do little to suppress it. Heavy smoke has thwarted air attacks.

Disease

Yellow fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is launching an emergency mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever from 20 June 2013, following laboratory confirmation of six cases in the country on 6 June 2013.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the volcano alert level from Yellow to Orange. Elevated surface temperatures observed in satellite images this morning at 13:25 UTC (05:25 AKDT) indicate that an eruption at the intracaldera cone is likely underway. Seismic tremor continues and is indicative of low-level effusive activity and small explosions. No ash plumes have been observed this morning although clouds have obscured web camera views of the summit. (AVO)