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Fossil FuelsGreat resource - great threat
Earth needed millions of years to produce them
Coal - Oil - GasCoal is formed from the remains of plant material
Million of years ago before humans started to cut down trees, Earth was covered with plants and trees. Earthquakes and volcano outbreaks brought floods and landslides, covering these plant materials. High pressure turned the plants first into peat, which is decomposing plant matter. A million years later peat turned to lignite, which looks like a brownish rock. After that different kind of coal is formed. Because of all these millions of years coal is called a fossil (or one can say, a very old) fuel.
Oil is formed from the remains of dead sea animals, and various types of plankton that lived about 300 million years ago.
The surface of Earth is changing all the time by moving tectonic plates, forming new pressure points and burying surface materials. Pressure from the newly formed land masses squeezed and heated the remains, liquidating it over time, leaving oil. Because of all these millions of years oil is called a fossil (or one can say, a very old) fuel. Humans have used oil for fuel for more than 6,000 years.
Natural gas forms deeper in the Earth's crust than crude oil. Natural gas is formed by the higher heat closer to the Earth's core.
Methane is the main gas in natural gas. Methane is also created by methanogens that convert organic matter. Methanogens even exist in humans. Unfortunately, most methane gas produced in this matter is lost into the atmosphere.
Combustion of fossil fuels also produces other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.
These buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years
All Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons
If humans would burn these fossil fuels over a long time span, the changes to Earth's climate would be smaller.
The burning of fossil fuels by humans is the largest source of emissions of
carbon dioxide, which is one of the
greenhouse gases that reflect heat back to the Earth's surface, contributing to
global warming changing humans water supply, humans food supply!
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