Fossil fuel

Since oil fields are located only at certain places on earth, only some countries are oil-independent; the other countries depend on the oil-production capacities of these countries
A petrochemical refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland, UK
An oil well in the Gulf of Mexico
The Global Carbon Project shows how additions to since 1880 have been caused by different sources ramping up one after another.
Global surface temperature reconstruction over the last 2000 years using proxy data from tree rings, corals, and ice cores in blue. Directly observational data is in red, with all data showing a 5 year moving average.
In 2020, renewables overtook fossil fuels as the European Union's main source of electricity for the first time.

Hydrocarbon-containing material formed naturally in the earth's crust from the remains of dead plants and animals that is extracted and burned as a fuel.

- Fossil fuel
Since oil fields are located only at certain places on earth, only some countries are oil-independent; the other countries depend on the oil-production capacities of these countries

40 related topics

Alpha

Burning pieces of wood, showing various stages of pyrolysis followed by oxidative combustion.

Pyrolysis

Thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere.

Thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere.

Burning pieces of wood, showing various stages of pyrolysis followed by oxidative combustion.
Processes in the thermal degradation of organic matter at atmospheric pressure.
A blacksmith's forge, with a blower forcing air through a bed of fuel to raise the temperature of the fire. On the periphery, coal is pyrolyzed, absorbing heat; the coke at the center is almost pure carbon, and releases a lot of heat when the carbon oxidizes.
Carbon fibers produced by pyrolyzing a silk cocoon. Electron micrograph, scale bar at bottom left shows 100 μm.
Illustrating inputs and outputs of methane pyrolysis, an efficient one-step process to produce Hydrogen and no greenhouse gas
Illustration of the metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy process, which entails pyrolysis of volatiles
Oak charcoal

catagenesis, the natural conversion of buried organic matter to fossil fuels and

Protestor in Melbourne calling for a just transition and decarbonisation

Just transition

Framework developed by the trade union movement to encompass a range of social interventions needed to secure workers' rights and livelihoods when economies are shifting to sustainable production, primarily combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.

Framework developed by the trade union movement to encompass a range of social interventions needed to secure workers' rights and livelihoods when economies are shifting to sustainable production, primarily combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.

Protestor in Melbourne calling for a just transition and decarbonisation

In the European Union, the concerns facing workers in fossil fuel industries are addressed by the Just Transition mechanism in the European Green Deal.

Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.

World energy supply and consumption

Global production and preparation of fuel, generation of electricity, energy transport and energy consumption.

Global production and preparation of fuel, generation of electricity, energy transport and energy consumption.

Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.
World energy mix, 1965 to 2020
Primary energy sources are transformed by the energy sector to generate energy carriers.

Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 38 gigatons in 2019.

Sustainable Development Goal 7

One of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

One of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Number of people in the world with and without access to electricity
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Indoor woodfire stove in Nigeria, causing indoor air pollution
Solar panels in Réunion
Chief Joseph Dam for hydropower, Washington, USA
Energy intensity of economies
Wind turbines in Austria - one of the sources of clean renewable energy
International finance received for clean energy, 2016
SDG-7 Pie Chart for Technology Transfers Literature Based on Scientific Disciplines from Scopus Database 2021

At the same time, an economy reliant on fossil fuels is causing changes to our climate.

Electric phosphate smelting furnace in a TVA chemical plant (1942)

Smelting

Process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal.

Process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal.

Electric phosphate smelting furnace in a TVA chemical plant (1942)
Casting bronze ding-tripods, from the Chinese Tiangong Kaiwu encyclopedia of Song Yingxing, published in 1637.
Cowles Syndicate of Ohio in Stoke-upon-Trent England, late 1880s. British Aluminium used the process of Paul Héroult about this time.

The reducing agent is commonly a fossil fuel source of carbon, such as coke—or, in earlier times, charcoal.

After World War II, newly implemented agricultural technologies, including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops, greatly increased food production in certain regions of the Global South.

Green Revolution

Set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production in parts of the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

Set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production in parts of the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

After World War II, newly implemented agricultural technologies, including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops, greatly increased food production in certain regions of the Global South.
Locations of Norman Borlaug's research stations in the Yaqui Valley and Chapingo.
New varieties of wheat and other grains were instrumental to the green revolution.
Wheat yields in least developed countries since 1961, in kilograms per hectare.
World population 1950–2010
World population supported with and without synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
M. King Hubbert's prediction of world petroleum production rates. Modern agriculture is largely reliant on petroleum energy.
Increased use of irrigation played a major role in the green revolution.

The energy for the Green Revolution was provided by fossil fuels in the form of fertilizers (natural gas), pesticides (oil), and hydrocarbon fueled irrigation.

Consumption-based CO₂ emissions per capita, 2017

Carbon footprint

Total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Consumption-based CO₂ emissions per capita, 2017
CO₂ emissions per person by country, 2017 (Our World in Data).
A third of Chinese people interviewed for the European Investment Bank climate survey believe that the carbon footprint should be on every product.
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Global annual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) from fossil energy sources, over time for the six top emitting countries and confederations
Recycling station in a park to promote reduce, reuse, recycle.
Windmills located in a field to conserve energy.
Co2 projection

Greenhouse gases, including the carbon-containing gases carbon dioxide and methane, can be emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance and the production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation and other services.

World consumption of primary energy by energy type.

Environmental impact of the energy industry

Significant, as energy and natural resource consumption are closely related.

Significant, as energy and natural resource consumption are closely related.

World consumption of primary energy by energy type.
Energy consumption per capita per country (2001). Red hues indicate increase, green hues decrease of consumption during the 1990s.
Global average surface temperature datasets from various scientific organizations show the progress and extent of global warming.
The warming influence (called radiative forcing) of long-lived greenhouse gases has nearly doubled in 40 years, with carbon dioxide and methane being the dominant drivers of global warming.
Global fossil carbon emission by fuel type, 1800–2007 AD.
Nuclear power activities involving the environment; mining, enrichment, generation and geological disposal.
Livestock grazing near a wind turbine.

The scientific consensus on global warming and climate change is that it is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of which comes from burning fossil fuels with deforestation and some agricultural practices being also major contributors.

Oceanic carbon cycle

Composed of processes that exchange carbon between various pools within the ocean as well as between the atmosphere, Earth interior, and the seafloor.

Composed of processes that exchange carbon between various pools within the ocean as well as between the atmosphere, Earth interior, and the seafloor.

Carbon is separated into four distinct pools based on whether it is organic/inorganic and whether it is dissolved/particulate. The processes associated with each arrow describe the transformation associated with the transfer of carbon from one reservoir to another.
Dissociation of carbon dioxide following Henry's Law
Fate of buried organic matter

Oceans take up 15 – 40% of anthropogenic CO2, and so far roughly 40% of the carbon from fossil fuel combustion has been taken up into the oceans.

7 most common causes of cement and casing failures leading to fugitive gas emissions from a producing well. The cement plug in the lower portion of the well makes this an example of an abandoned well.

Fugitive gas emissions

7 most common causes of cement and casing failures leading to fugitive gas emissions from a producing well. The cement plug in the lower portion of the well makes this an example of an abandoned well.
Illustration of surface casing vent flow and gas migration pathways in the subsurface near a producing well. The cement plug in the lower portion of the well makes this an example of an abandoned well.

Fugitive gas emissions are emissions of gas (typically natural gas, which contains methane) to atmosphere or groundwater which result from oil and gas or coal mining activity.