oa Discourse - Introduction - fossil fuels and global warming



Extracted from text ... Basically, solar energy was trapped through photosynthesis by plants and life in animals over a geologic time of, say, 400 Ma. The solarenergy was therefore ""stored"" in fossil fuels and can be extracted rapidly these days by burning it.The burning of coal at a rate of billions of tons per annum worldwide started mainly since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century,initially to drive steam engines and then later to generate electricity. Large-scale consumption of crude oil started with the introductionof the internal combustion engine at the end of the 19th century.


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