Peak Oil, Peak Coal, and Uncertainties of Climate Change

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Join the USCEI and USCENE on November 1, 2010 from 6:00-8:00PM at the Social Sciences building (SOS) room B46 for a discussion on Peak Oil, Peak Coal, and Uncertainties of Climate Change with guest speaker James W. Murray of the University of Washington School of Oceanography.

PEAK OIL is the point and time when the production of oil, a finite non-renewable geological resource, will ultimately reach a maximum withdrawl capability and then decline indefinitely. While there is no debate on whether it will occur, there is disagreement about when it will occur. Peak Oil does not mean "running out of oil" but when the peak has been reached; about 50% of the oil that will be ultimately extracted will have been used. Similar issues exist for coal.

There are both short term and long term issues concerning when the peak will be reached. We have seen the manifestation of the imbalance between supply and demand in the steady increase in the price of oil since 1999.

Energy and climate change are inextricably linked and we certainly need to solve the energy issue in order to move forward on climate. The solutions are the same - burn less oil and coal: make less CO2.

The issues of Peak Oil and Coal have not generally been discussed in the context of climate change but the links are there. Dr. Murray will present issues around peak fossil fuels, how this should be connected to climate change and looks forward to having an open discussion of the data and the issues.