When Will The Earth Actually Run Out Of Fossil Fuel?

When Will The Earth Actually Run Out Of Fossil Fuel?

Fossil fuel, like coal, oil, and gas are our main source of energy till nowadays. This kind of fuel is considered as nonrenewable because it takes so many time, even millions of years, before we can refill the stock of what we have used.

It takes too much time to form the deposit of fossil fuel. In example, North Sea oil deposits are made 150 million years ago and data show that Britain’s coal was formed 300 million years ago. And the consumption these days take too short to spend it just in hundreds of years.

That’s why, this kind of fuel is considered nonrenewable energy, because it is almost impossible to balance out the consumption and production process. So, if someday we have communed all of the deposits, it is almost impossible to get more stock of it.

To counter the consumption of fossil fuel, people start to think about renewable energy sources. However, until today, fossil fuel still plays big part in our lives, like industrial activities, transportation, power plants, and even simpler uses like lighting up our fireplaces.

Based on those facts, some kind of question came to our minds, when will we run out of the fossil fuel? And once we really run out of fossil fuel, will it be forever gone? How severe is our current condition to this day? Here we try to answer those questions.

The Rising Rate Of Consumption

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The consumption rate of fossil fuel is not in a constant rate, it keeps increasing. This is because the population of the world is also keep increasing. More people, more demand for fossil fuel as the thing that need fossil fuels to operate keeps increasing also.

In global rate, we consume over 11 billion tons of oil as fuel in a year. The amount of oil consumed of course keeps increasing year by year of course. However, scientists have predicted that the deposit of fossil oil will run out at year 2052.

Scientists also predict that in the future when the world has run out of oil, gas will be the short time substitute for oil. And if that really happens, so the deposit of gas will run out less than a decade after the stock of oil has been consumed all.

So, after the practical fossil fuel is empty, what happen next? How will we compensate the need of fuel for vehicles and industrial machines that usually consume those kinds of fuel? The answer is simple, find alternative sources of energy or send those machines and vehicles to the museum.

The Last Fossil Fuel

Power Station by Petr Štefek

Not only oil and gas, coal is also included in the fossil fuel. Coal is made from solid remain of fossils. Because of the amount of solid remain is more than the oil and gas produced, then the amount of coal is more than those two kind of fossil fuels.

Coal is the last fossil fuel predicted to extinct from our earth after those two mentioned above. If the consumption of oil and gas are for practical uses like vehicles and industries, coal consumption is only in much more complicated situations like power plants.

That’s why coal is predicted to be the last fossil fuel to exist on this earth. However, the deposit of coal in our earth is finite. Thus, it will still run out someday, and scientists predict that the stock of coal will be emptied out around the year 2088.

But don’t you know that burning coals emit a lot amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere? Carbon dioxide is one of some gasses contributing to the greenhouse effect. And burning all the deposit of the coal will emit enormous gasses to the atmosphere, that worsen the greenhouse effect.

So, Is 2088 The End Of Fossil Fuel?

Based on the data above, the last stock of coal, which is the last fossil fuel to exists, will run out in 2088. But does that mean that the era of fossil fuel will end in 2088? Not really, because maybe in the future, new reserves that we haven’t found will be found.

Still, any kind of fossil fuel reserve, no matter of how much is it will not last forever. In addition, the reserves are likely to be much smaller than the ones that we have found. So, it may support us for a bit longer, but not much longer.

Not only that, the hidden reserves are kept hidden until now because it is hard to access, and unfortunately it will cost much more than current reserves we have. No wonder if the price of fossil fuel keeps on rising year to year.

What Will Be Our Limit?

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The deposit of unrenewable fuel in our earth is limited. But, when is the exact time that we really run out of it is still in a debate because every calculation about it had been proven wrong. In example, M. King Hubbert, in 1956 and 1979 tried to calculate some data about the reserves on our earth.

Both calculations were proven wrong, but still inspired other scientist to use it as a cue for their calculation. Aside from the calculation of the amount of deposit, we should also calculate the effect of using that much fossil fuel to the world.

Burning all those deposit of fuel will contribute enormous amount of carbon dioxide to the air. And carbon dioxide will float in the atmosphere for a long time, giving us the greenhouse effect. So, it will be more likely for us to suffer from the climate change caused by the greenhouse effect first.

In UN Paris Agreement, we agree to keep the rise of the earth temperature below two degrees Celsius. You can check it in our older article about the effects if we fail to keep the earth temperature. But, burning all those fossils will likely rise the earth temperature until above two degrees.

Thus, consuming that much of fossil is a threat, not only because it is addictive to the finite fuel, but also harm our nature. The only way is to develop and support the use of renewable energy. You can start to end this latent threat from now by consuming less fossil.

Sources:

https://ourworldindata.org/

https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/

https://www.livescience.com/

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