Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington have come to the conclusion that the world's coal supply has been vastly overestimated. The researchers believe that coal production could start dwindling as early as 2025, creating a world-wide energy crisis - yet another reason that renewable energy sources need to start replacing fossil fuels around the world, and soon.
The research is based on actual coal production patterns in the world's five greatest coal regions compared to what governments have self-reported to be their maximum extractable coal. The researchers have found that minable coal reserves have been overestimated by at least four times what is actually minable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates maximum coal reservesto be 3,400 billion tons, while the new calculations put maximum coal reserves at just 666 billion tons.
Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute in California estimates that we'll see peak coal somewhere between 2025 and 2035 and he warns of not only an energy crisis at that time, but also an economic decline.
So while we've long been advocating for a switch from coal to prevent further climate change and to protect the planet, it seems the switch may be even more dire than we thought.
via Discovery News