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What is oil?

Crude oil is a mixture of hydrogen and Carbon atoms (hydrocarbons). simple chains are called "normal alkanes"


How are hydrocarbon formed?

They originate from plankton and plants trapped in anoxic sedimentary deposits which prevents oxidation. these deposits are "cooked" by earths core at a distance between 2,300 m and 4,600 m


What is peak oil?

A resevoirs maximum oil production rate. it occurs when 50% of the known conventional oil reserves have been recovered


Why have we not felt the effects of post peak-oil

We arent limited to conventional oil. industries have been extracting non-conventional oil, heavy oil, deep-water oil and polar oil. new discoveries of reservoirs are disguising the decline in oil availability


What are the 3 post oil societal scenarios?

1. Mass starvation- pop declines to 2 bil.
2.value of oil will collapse with more efficient techonologies made available- conservation
3. continue to recover unconventional oil and release more CO2 into atmosphere


What is an ice age?

recurring periods in earth history when the entire earth experiences colder climatic conditions, ice sheets formed over earths continental surface


How often do ice ages occur

every 100,000 years


What are 2 main natural causes of ice ages? possible 3rd

plate tectonics
milankovitch cycles
fluctuations in solar output


What are plate tectonics?

a) changes in the positions of the continents
b) major uplift at continental plate boundaries cause changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns.
c) Large or numerous volcanic eruptions release huge amounts of gasses within the atmosphere causing global warming. particles of ash reduce solar radiation causing cooling.


What is the milankovitch cycle?

Earths orbit, tilt and wobble determine distance from the sun, farther the distance, cooler the earth.


What are solar output fluctuations?

the Maunder minimum (1645-1715), sunspots were very rare. unsure if sun spots drastically affect earths climate


How long have humans been affecting CO2 and methane on earth?

CO2~8,000 years
Methane ~ 5,500 years


How did humans amplify CO2 and methane

Early agriculture


What are 3 sources of carbon and 3 carbon sinks

fossil fuels, land use, other emissions
Atmospheric increase, terrestrial uptake, ocean uptake


how have humans increased methane?

raising livestock (cow farts)
rice paddy agriculture


What is the biggest source of natural methane production?

Wetlands, northern wetlands (60% of global wetland area) = 1/4-1/3 of the total methane originates in wet soils.