Hello, Zenius fellows. It was time for me to continue my story of energy after I had previously written about the Human Story of Controlling Energy. If in the previous article, I told you about human history in controlling the surrounding energy sources until finally modern human civilization today is so dependent on fossil fuels as the main energy source. Well, in this article I will continue to tell you specifically about human dependence on fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, coal) as well as various issues about potential hazards that we may need to face if we continue to depend on energy sources limited this.
In modern times like today, we can enjoy a lot of incredible form of practicality. From the start of the availability of electricity to the transportation technology that allows us to travel far in no time. Zaman is constantly evolving, technology increasingly more sophisticated, human civilization increasingly progressed over time. I think later in the future humans also increasingly clever use of energy to make life more practical, yes hell? Unfortunately, the answer is: NOT THAT.
Why not necessarily? Is not human civilization now going forward progressively?
Human civilization (especially from the side of technology) is moving forward now. But if we look at it from a wider perspective, the human civilization that offers all this practicality is actually based on a very 'fragile' energy source! Well how come so, what do you mean?
The electricity that billions of people enjoy today certainly does not appear miraculously, but is formed from the mechanical energy transformation mechanism. Likewise with the workings of transportation technology, energy sources are needed to make the vehicle engine can be on, from cars, ships, to airplanes. The problem now is: without we realize almost all the energy sources that make this advanced human civilization turned out to depend on fossil fuels that can run out in a time that will not be long again. While humans continue to spend this energy source without a long thinker in the future should be how.
Well, in this article ZeniusBlog, I will discuss in detail about the challenge of modern human civilization related to our dependence on non-renewable energy sources as well as various consequences including the relation of environmental issues that are also not less important, namely the issue of global warming (hereinafter referred to as with PD terms). Okay, let's just start our discussion, starting with the notion of fossil fuels!
What is Fossil Fuels?
Before getting into the issue of fossil fuel, first, we need to know what fossil fuel actually is. Fossil fuels are the remains of dead creatures from ancient times. That ancient time was when? Many think that fossil fuel is formed from dinosaur fossils. It's a misconception well, haha ??…
Most of our fossil fuels are made up of plant remains, animals and algae that live in the Carboniferous Period, about 300 million years ago (100 million years older than the Dinosaur period). 300 million years ago it was a time when there were many large and shallow swamps on the surface of the earth. The presence of swamps is very important because it increases the likelihood of maintaining the intact condition of dead organisms. Miniclip body will not be able to be fossil fuel if dead on dry land because it will be easy to decompose / rot. But if it dies in the swamp and sinks to its very essence, the Carbon Period organism will quickly enclose the sand and clay that makes it buried deeper with their intact energy potential.
After hundreds of millions of years, all organisms are squashed under intense heat and pressure and converted into solid, liquid, or gas energy sources, each of which is coal (solid), petroleum (liquid), and natural gas ( gas). Well, these three forms of energy sources are used by humans to be bURNED. Why is it burned? Yes, it needs to be burned to be converted to other forms of energy, such as electricity and propulsion piston, dynamo, etc.
After knowing the understanding, now we can get into 2 issues that include the use of fossil fuels, namely:Global Warming and
Limitations of Fossil Energy Sources.
ISU # 1: GLOBAL WARMING
If talking about climate change, global warming, or global warming, maybe the impression rada stale yes. This issue seems to have often been heard for many years, ranging from environmental activist campaigns, government appeals, maybe even a program of activities in schools. From earth hour activities to dies lights, campaigns for electricity saving, tree planting, campaigns using public transportation, cycling etc. Actually this is all ngaruh not hell ?? Actually what is the heck with global warming to the extent that this issue is constantly raised? Is global warming a real threat? If emang beneran danger, how far is the real threat to human life today?
Okay, to answer all those questions, let's just ignore for a while the various politicians, environmental NGOs, and filmmakers about climate change. We focus on facts that we can dig based on clear data sources. Just based on these facts, we can get more concrete conclusions related to this environmental issue.
Fact 1. Burning Fossil Fuel Making CO2 Levels in the Atmosphere Increasing
Maybe you are confused why suddenly I jumped directly ngomongin CO2 in the atmosphere. Later I will explain why the level of CO2 in this atmosphere really influence the same issue of global warming. But right now, we focus first on the facts of causal relationships of burning fossil fuels with increasing levels of CO2.
Why do burning fossil fuels emit CO2?
* emits = emits, releases, produces
The answer is simple: burning is the reverse process of photosynthesis. Since elementary or junior high school you have probably learned about photosynthetic reactions.
CO2 + H2O -> C6H12O6 + O2
Plants take CO2 from the air and absorb the energy of sunlight to break CO2 into carbon C and oxygen (O2). Oxygen is emitted as a waste product that turns out to be utilized almost all living creatures of the earth for breathing. Carbon and solar energy reside in the plant body as a chemical energy (C6H12O6) that can be utilized by the plant itself. In other words, wood is essentially a carbon block that stores chemical energy.When you burn a log, what you are doing is reverse the process of photosynthesis. Remember, burning something is oxygenated, right? So, if ngebakar wood, glucose (C6H12O6) was lived plus oxygen aja. Reactions like this:
C6H12O6 + O2 -> CO2 + H2O
When the oxygen molecules around the wood move fast enough and hit the carbon molecules in the wood, they will reunite as CO2. This reunion releases chemical energy, which triggers the oxygen molecules around it to move faster. The faster, more and more oxygen molecules are reunited with the carbon molecules inside the wood. This reaction is so chain that the wood burns. Thus, burning a stick is the process of carbon in wood rejoining oxygen in the air and released as CO2.
In the context of fossil fuels, keep in mind that petroleum, coal, and natural gas all come from animals and plants that lived millions of years ago. The living thing is composed of C, H, and O … just like the chemical reaction above. So practically burning fossil fuels is synonymous with reversing the photosynthetic reaction resulting in more CO2.
CO2 Data in Atmosphere Over the Last 200 Years
Carbon emissions from the Industrial Revolution (1751 1905) only ate a small portion of modern human carbon emissions today. It is very clear that, after the Industrial Revolution, CO2 emissions from burning fossils have increased considerably. This means the more carbon we release / emit into the atmosphere in the last 200 years.
"Eh, but is not there a carbon cycle?" Through the carbon cycle, should the carbon be re-absorbed into plants, soil, and water? "
Indeed there is carbon reabsorbed by plants, soil, and water (land sinks and ocean sinks). But the amount of carbon absorbed again is still smaller than the carbon we emit to the atmosphere. The data presented in the following figure, where we can see there is excess of CO2 about 4 gigatons in the atmosphere that is not absorbed behind by the carbon cycle.
For hundreds of thousands of years, it seems that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen between 180-300 ppm (part per million) over the last 400,000 years, never exceeding 300. Suddenly in the last century, levels have soared to 403 ppm! This means, for every one million molecules in the atmosphere, 403 of which are now carbon dioxide. The highest CO2 concentration in the last 400,000 years.
Fact 2. When CO2 levels in the atmosphere rise, temperature also goes up
CO2 As Greenhouse GasesThe ice core unearthed by scientists not only uncovered CO2 levels from hundreds of thousands of years ago, but also reveals the trend of the earth's temperature.
The blue line is the temperature of the planet Earth, while the green line is the CO2 content in the atmosphere. It seems not difficult ya see the correlation. As the CO2 level (green line) increases, the temperature chart also increases (blue). Vice versa. The reason is simple. CO2 is a gas that is similar in nature to a greenhouse. Hence CO2 is often called greenhouse gas (greenhouse gas). Why is it called greenhouse gas? I need to tell you about the original greenhouse.
Real greenhouse is widely used to grow crops. Normally, when the sunlight of an object, its light will bounce back. But glass allows sunlight that should be bounced out, even trapped in a greenhouse. This keeps the temperature in the greenhouse warm and conducive to plant growth.
There are some chemicals in our atmosphere that work exactly like the greenhouse effect, one of which is CO2 gas. When the sunlight falls on the earth, when it bounces back, it is blocked by a layer of CO2 gas to spread its light throughout the atmosphere, trapping its sun's energy. The earth warms up.
The Effect of CO2 in the Atmosphere with the Average Temperature of a Planet
To further clarify how CO2 affects the temperature of a planet, let's do a comparison with our neighboring planets. Mars has an average temperature of -55OC. Cold buanget! While Venus is on the contrary, the average temperature reaches 462OC! What makes the temperature difference between the two planets? The key is in CO2.
Mars has an atmosphere that is thinner than Earth so that the energy of the sun that has come in easily loose again. On the other hand, the atmosphere of Venus is much thicker with its CO2 level 300x the Earth's CO2 content! Hence the atmosphere of Venus can trap a lot of heat.
Let's look at another example on Mercury's Planet that is closer to the sun than Venus. This mercury has no atmosphere, but is cooler than Venus. Why can you? During the day, Mercury is as hot as Venus because it exposes direct exposure to sunlight. But at night, the temperature is well below the freezing point of water. Why? Because Mercury has no atmosphere, it can not "trap" heat energy from the sun. On the other hand, Venus at night is as hot as daylight because the heat energy from the sun is permanently trapped by its thick atmosphere containing CO2.
What is the increase in the average temperature of the earth over the past 200 years?
With the release of millions of ancient carbon through the burning of fossils in the last 100-200 years, the temperature of the earth has now increased to what extent? If compared with before the Industrial Revolution, the average temperature of our earth now has risen almost 1OC. But if CO2 levels continue to increase, the temperature will also continue to increase. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-backed body of 1300 independent scientists from various countries, released a report that projected the temperature rise from the analysis of several independent labs. The results of analysis from various labs consistently show the same trend. Here are predictions from the various labs if it is assumed that human beings continue to rely on the fossil fuel industry.
Ah but the average temperature of the new earth rose 1OC compared to 200 years ago. Small is it. It's been the same fossil fuel, but in fact it only rose 1OC. Pfft ..Well, if so we enter the next question: what temperature changes do the degree of hell to make life on earth is threatened?
Fact 3. No Need to Change Temperatures So Much to Create a Doom for Humanity
18,000 years ago, the average temperature of the Earth is 5OC lower than the average temperature of the earth today. With temperatures 5OC lower than today, 18,000 years ago, countries in the northern hemisphere, such as Canada, Scandinavian countries, and Britain, were covered by ice. Indonesia, still united with other Southeast Asian countries in one land (Sunda Exposure). This is the state of the earth in the last Ice Age.
By contrast, 100 million years ago, the earth's average temperature of 6-10OC was higher than it is now. Temperatures higher than 6-10OC from now, is enough to make all the ice in the earth melt. At that time, the entire region of the earth is tropical, there is no ice everywhere, and sea level 200 meters higher than now. Imagine the chaos that will occur if such a drastic environmental change takes place in a short period of time?
With the current state of the earth's average temperature, 21st century humans are in a fairly small window of time, illustrated by the following timelines.
The earth's history and the temperature timeline illustration above show that the 1oC increase / decrease is significant. Differences 1oC may not be too tasteless by human skin, but what we are talking about here is the nature and balance of our planet as a whole.
Here is a little illustration of the impact of the average Earth temperature rise that we are beginning to feel now also.
Droughts will hit more areas that will affect the same supply of clean water, electricity, and food availability.
The pattern of rain and snow changed so that the weather became more and more difficult to guess. This is terrible news for the sustainability of agriculture and fisheries as our food source.
Layers of ice on land and sea melt so that sea levels rise. This will threaten the existence of several cities in the world and reduce residential areas.
Increased ocean acidity that threatens marine habitats. If the existence of marine species is threatened because the ocean becomes more acidic, the source of human food from the marine sector is also limited.
In the end humans are also deh dizzy due to the impact of Earth's average temperature rise. Burning fossil fuels creates havoc
Okay, that's about the cave reviews related to the issue of global warming and the reason why the use of fossil fuels has the potential to threaten human civilization. Well, now we get into one more issue that reinforces the reason why we should immediately leave the dependence on fossil fuels.
ISU # 2: AVAILABILITY OF FOSSIL LIMITED LIABILITYWhen it was first discovered in the 19th century, fossil fuels looked like an endless treasure of underground energy. In fact, although several new sources have been discovered, the fossil fuel supply of the Earth is limited. When are we going to run out of fossil fuel supplies?
The CIA World Factbook reminds us that when the inventories of oil and natural gas are depleted, the use of coal will increase, the less we will soon think of using new energy sources.
But there are also ya who say if the data above just represent the backup that already found aja. In fact, every year, we find new fossil fuel reserves, such as oil locked in tar sand or abundant methane reserves beneath the seafloor. Indeed, on the one hand humans also develop new technologies to be able to reach these new reserves, such as fracking or horizontal drilling. On the one hand maybe we could not run out of fossil fuels for centuries to come.
But the problem is, even if we do not run out in the near future, but one day will not want fossil fuel will be exhausted. Why? Yes because this fuel is not like a plant that we can control the cycle of energy to continue our harvest again, not just like cattle that we can continue to develop. Fossil fuels are a limited resource whose availability we can neither create nor control.
On the other hand, as new energy sources of fossil fuels are discovered, we will also be faced with another serious problem, from the side of the global economy. Why can it be so? If you update with the world of mining industry recently, maybe you've heard there is layoff policy (layoffs) by many mining companies because found a new source of reserves in the US. This makes the price of oil in Arabia to fall in order to remain competitive with new industries in America. With the decline in world oil prices, this industry must also take a firm stance to survive.
But if the new reserves continue to be found, world oil prices will continue to fall? Yeah, too. Initially wrote down, but over time the price will creep up again as the reserves diminish. Then, how long will we continue to rely on that way? Are we going to keep searching and searching until we finally run out? If we run out of fossil fuel supplies (whenever that happens) and the world is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels as now, the problem will be a massive economic crisis.
As fossil fuels become increasingly scarce, their prices will skyrocket. Then, many parties are finally pressed to rush to develop renewable energy technology. But it is too late to prevent the global economic crisis.
In essence, at some point in the future, we have no choice but to stop using fossil fuels as our primary energy source because of two alternative reasons: the energy source is gone or it is too expensive.
First before the industrial revolution in 1800, we do not know tuh whose name is fossil fuel. The energy we use is still limited. All we use is renewable energy and clean. This is illustrated in green on the diagram above. Next, when we start to find steam engines, cars, and so on, we start relying on fossil fuels. This is illustrated with black in the diagram above. Now the question is, when can we start getting into the yellow zone? And how? Well, an explanation of how we can switch from the era of fossil fuels to an era of sustainable energy will be ours in the next ZeniusBlog article.
In this article, I just want to share knowledge, especially on the younger generation, that global warming and climate change are a real threat to the sustainability of human civilization. The biggest source of trouble lies in the use of fossil fuels with two basic issues covering them:
Burning fossil fuels makes CO2 levels in the atmosphere rise. With the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the planet Earth's temperature will increase as the sun's heat energy is retained in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, a slight temperature change is enough to bring disaster to human civilization.Fossil fuels will become too rare or too expensive to get if we continue to rely on them as a source of energy. This could be a potential new hazard, especially in terms of the global economy.
The choices we make now and in the coming decades will determine human civilization. What is the concrete solution for all of us to get out of this catastrophe? Wait for the story in the next article!
Source: Zenius.net [dzm]