COAL LAB EXERCISE

Download Assignment Sheet

_______________________________________________________

This lab exercise is worth 10 points.

          Be sure to add the proper number of zeros after each of the statistics on the pages below.

              thousands = 3 zeros

              millions = 6 zeros

              billions = 9 zeros

              trillions = 12 zeros

              Also, there is a difference between a short ton and a metric ton. A metric ton is 1000 kilograms (or 2200 pounds). A short ton is simply 2000 pounds (a regular ton). In many countries, a "ton" is automatically assumed to be a metric ton. Referring to a "short ton" limits this confusion.

              ST = short ton

          A. The top eight countries with the most coal reserves are listed here. The amount of coal left in the ground has been estimated for each country. You are welcome to click on the link below to verify this list. These are 2015 values.

              1. United States with 254,896,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

              2. Russia with 176,771,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

              3. Australia with 159,634,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

              4. China with 147,352,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

              5. India with 104,465,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

              6. Germany with 39,917,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

              7. Ukraine with 37,892,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

              8. South Africa with 35,384,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

              World Coal Reserves = 1,136,327,000,000 short tons

              Note: Even though Russia has coal, it is located in very remote areas with poor transportation networks. Trying to retrieve this coal would be cost-prohibitive (i.e., they would lose money by mining this coal). Therefore, Russia's coal is really not considered a big part of the solution today.

              Coal Reserves U.S. Department of Energy

          B. The top five countries that consume the most coal are listed here. This is not based upon population. It's the total amount of coal consumed by a given country in a year. You are welcome to click on the link below to verify this list. These are 2015 values.

              1. China consumed 4,376,326,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              2. India consumed 980,941,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              3. United States consumed 798,155,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              4. Germany consumed 264,188,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              5. Russia consumed 243,801,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              The entire world consumed 8,701,059,000 short tons of coal in a year.

              Note 1: China consumed more than half of the coal consumed in the world in 2015.

              Note 2: Click on the link below and move the slide bar to change the date to 1990 and see how little coal China consumed then. Move the date up to 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 to see how rapidly China started consuming coal. Keep an eye on the United States during these years to see how consistent they have been. China's coal consumption increase is a game-changer worldwide.

              Coal Consumption Ranking U.S. Department of Energy

              World Coal Consumption

          C. (see assignment sheet)

          D. (see assignment sheet)

          E. (see assignment sheet)

          F. This is how much coal each U.S. citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

          G. This is how much coal each Chinese citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

          H. This is how much coal each Indian citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

          I. The sum of coal reserves from China, India and the U.S. (see assignment sheet).

          J. The total consumption per year from China, India and the U.S. (see assignment sheet).

          K. (see assignment sheet)

          Play around with the controls at the links above and see what interesting statistics you can come up with. There are a million ways to state it. Coal is not something we should plan on in the future!

          L. Click Here and briefly describe mountaintop coal mining.

          M. (see assignment sheet)

          THE END

          Extra Links