JUN 17, 2017 5:36 AM PDT

How Long Until We Run Out of Fossil Fuels?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Fossil fuels are the precious natural resources formed from the remains of prehistoric plants and animals. Over the hundreds of millions of years, the organic matter was buried, and subjected to intense heat and pressure. This process resulted in energy-rich sources of fuel such as crude oil, coal, and natural gas.

Humans have only started taking full advantage of these resources since the Industrial Revolution. But we've more than made up for lost time, as in the span of just over 200 years, we've unapologetically consumed a significant amount of this precious natural resource.

The catch, of course, is that fossil fuel quantities are finite. That is, it takes millions of years to create these fossil fuels, but we are using these resources in the blink of an eye. Scientists have long warned that we would soon be running out of these non-renewable resources. Still, there are others who think that there are enough fossil fuels to sustain humanity, if we are intelligent enough to create better technologies to extract these resources.

Watch the video to learn how much fossil fuels we have left.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
Scientists have identified a burst of cosmic radio waves- intense flashes of radio emission that last just a few millise ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
NOV 09, 2021
Space & Astronomy
10 Facts You May Not Know About Carl Sagan
NOV 09, 2021
10 Facts You May Not Know About Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was born November 9, 1934, 87 years ago today. He would go on to become one of the most influential voices in ...
Loading Comments...