Energy: Perspectives, Problems, and Prospects

Energy: Perspectives, Problems, and Prospects

by Michael B. McElroy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195386116

ISBN-13: 9780195386110

Pub. Date: 12/18/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is greater now than at any time over at least the past 650,000 years, with prospects to increase over the next few decades to levels not seen since dinosaurs roamed the earth 65 million years ago. Increases in the concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are responsible for important

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Overview

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is greater now than at any time over at least the past 650,000 years, with prospects to increase over the next few decades to levels not seen since dinosaurs roamed the earth 65 million years ago. Increases in the concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are responsible for important changes in global and regional climate, with consequences for the future of global society that, though difficult to predict in detail, are potentially catastrophic for a world poorly equipped to cope.

Energy: Perspectives, Problems, and Prospects offers a comprehensive account of how the world evolved to its present state in which humans now exercise a powerful influence on global environmental change. It outlines the history that led to this position of dominance, in particular the role played by our increasing reliance on fossil sources of energy, on coal, oil, and natural gas, and the problems that we are now forced to confront. Our challenge now is to transition to a new energy economy in which fossil fuels will play a much smaller role. Michael McElroy explains that we must cut back on emissions of climate-altering gases such as carbon dioxide while at the same time reducing our dependence on unreliable, potentially disruptive-though currently indispensable-sources of energy such as oil, the lifeblood of the global transportation system. McElroy concludes with a discussion of options for a more sustainable energy future, highlighting the potential for contributions from wind, sun, biomass, geothermal and nuclear to supplant our currently unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195386110
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/18/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
424
Sales rank:
481,204
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3

2 From Hunter-Gathers to English factories 19

3 Energy: What Is It and How Do We Measure It 75

4 Wood, Photosynthesis, and the Carbon cycle 93

5 Coal: Origin, History, and Problems 105

6 Oil: Properties, Origin, History, Problems, and Prospects 123

7 Nature Gas: Origin, History, and Prospects 149

8 Energy from Water and Wind 163

9 Nuclear Power 191

10 Steam Power 215

11 Electricity 241

12 Automobile, Trucks, and the Internal Combustion Enqine 277

13 The Challenge of Global Climate Change 299

14 Prospects for Carbon Capture and Sequestration 325

15 Ethanol from Biomass: Can It Substitute for Gasoline? 347

16 Current Patterns of Energy Use 371

17 Vision for a Low-Carbon Energy Future 383

Index 401

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