What types of fossil fuels exist? Will over extraction of these ancient materials cause adverse harm to our environment? How can this be disproven? I have an assessment, the scenario is: Someone claims that Australia will 'Explode' because we will have no energy left due to overuse of fossil fuels in the pacific rim. This is also linked to natural disasters in the area.  Yes, a little over the top, i know, but i really need need to ace this project!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Well, to answer the first part of your question, fossil fuels exist primarily in three forms:  coal, oil, and natural gas.  All three of these forms of fuel are the remains of dead plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.  They are composed of hydrocarbon chains, some as long as 50 carbon atoms long.  Coal is the solid form, while oil is the liquid version, and natural gas is the gaseous form of fossil fuels.  Now, as to the second part of your question, I don't know what the future holds for the continent of Australia, but I have learned one thing when speculating on the certainty of such events.  That one thing is to never say "never"!  There is always the small, yet very limited, outside chance of an explosion.  I would tend to say the "safe money", however, is on the chance that such an explosion will not happen.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team