According to new research, the bulk of fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal, ‘must not be mined’ by 2050 if the globe is to stay below 2.7°F (1.5°C).
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This is the greatest yearly average temperature increase that experts believe the planet can withstand while reducing the danger of climate change’s most catastrophic impacts.
Forecasted Temperature Rise
According to climate projections, global average temperatures would rise 5.22 degrees Fahrenheit (2.9 degrees Celsius) by 2100.
As a result, a team from University College London examined temperature rises under several scenarios depending on the amount of fossil fuels exploited up to 2050.
Global Fuel Policy
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To meet the lower 2.7°F (1.5°C) objective, they discovered that roughly 60% of present oil and fossil methane gas reserves, as well as 90% of coal reserves, should be kept buried.
According to the experts, this would necessitate major policy changes worldwide, including a move away from fossil fuel usage and production.
The world isn’t running out of fossil fuels, according to Frank Jotzo of the Australian National University, who was not part of this study, but rather alternatives for their waste product, carbon dioxide, and what to do with it to limit climate change.
‘Policies to limit production and lower demand will be required to persuade farmers to reconsider their output,’ they added.
Fossil fuels are responsible for 81% of world energy use.
However, to reach global climate change targets, their production and consumption must drastically decrease.
According to a 2015 Nature study, a third of oil reserves, half of the gas reserves, and over 80% of coal reserves should be left unused by 2050 to keep global warming below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Based on earlier research, Dan Welsby and colleagues calculated the fraction of fossil fuels that must be left in the ground to keep global warming below 2.7°F (1.5°C).
According to them, a significant expansion in non-extractable fossil fuel reserves is necessary.
Fuel Production Rate
They added that this is especially true for oil, where an additional 25% of reserves must remain in the ground compared to 2015 projections.
The authors also discovered that the global reduction in oil and gas output necessary by 2050 means that several locations would reach their production peaks in the next decade.
Peak production is when fossil fuel extraction achieves its maximum level ever – in the past or the future – and is viewed as a forerunner of humanity’s transition away from fossil fuels.
They added that many planned oil projects would be rendered unviable if peak production occurred in less than a decade rather than in the following decades.
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Nuclear power, solar power, ethanol, and wind power are the primary alternatives to oil and gas energy. Fossil fuels still outnumber these alternatives in global and local energy markets, but there is significant public pressure to expand their use as businesses transition toward sustainability and greener business practices.
More than 80% of overall energy consumption in the United States is accounted for by fossil fuels, consisting of coal, oil, propane, and natural gas. However, alternative energy sources have so far proved to be uneconomical replacements for fossil fuels; they are inefficient and expensive (or, in the case of nuclear power, entirely banned from increasing) than fossil fuels. As a result, the government now offers various subsidies to customers who opt for cleaner renewable energy sources for their homes or cars.
As more research and development is done in this area, and supply and demand principles of economics finally drive costs down to be competitive with traditional fossil fuels, the number of oil alternatives is growing.
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