APES Fossil Fuels and the Environment
Terms in this set (7)
What are fossil fuels
coal, oil, and natural gas that form from the remains of plants and other organisms that were buried and altered for more than a million years
What is oil shale
layered rock that yields oil when heated
what are tar sands
Oil Shales are a soft, fine-grained sedimentary rock from which oil and natural gas are obtained. Tar Sands are Sedimentary rocks containing a very thick, semisolid, tarlike petroleum.
How were fossil fuels formed
Fossil fuels were formed from plants and animals that lived up to about 300 million years ago.
The Sun passed solar energy to the plants, and plants were eaten by animals. When the plants and animals died and started decaying, some of them got buried deep under the ground for many millions of years, where they turned into fossil fuels like coal, gas and crude oil.
We burn that coal and oil to turn them into heat energy. Heat energy is transformed in power plants into electricity that goes through the power lines to our homes, then powers our televisions, computers, etc.
How large are the reserves for each fossil fuel
Estimates of reserves are said to last between 40 and 70 years at the rate of current use.
What is a proven reserve
Identified deposits from which 'oil' or any other fossil fuel can be extracted profitably at current prices with current technology.
How long can we use proven reserves of each kind of fossil fuel at current rates of consumption
Using proven reserves:
Oil: 46 years (depleted in 2055)
Natural gas: 63 years (depleted in 2072)
Coal: 119 years (depleted in 2128)
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