This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels

We live in the age of oil, which is one of the fossil fuels (all of which are forms of stored solar energy). Plants are collectors of solar energy and this energy is converted to chemical energy through photosynthesis. Thus we can see the connection between solar energy and fossil fuels. The main fossil fuels that we use today, such as coal and oil, were created as a result of incomplete biological decomposition of dead organic material. Most of the organic material involved in the creation of the fuels was land and marine plants. The organic material that was not completely decomposed slowly was converted through heat and pressure to fossil fuels. The transformation takes anywhere from hundreds of thousands to a few ...

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