physics paper #2 - Paul OMalley Physics 118 midterm #2 The...

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Physics 118 midterm #2 The depletion of earth’s natural resources occurs every day, and the need for more fossil fuels has led to drastic measures of recovery. One of these drastic measures involves extracting oil from tar sands through various techniques involving multiple chemicals, fire, and steam. The venture into extracting oil from the tar sands has only recently become profitable due to increases in oil prices and technological advances. These large tar sands fields are mainly found in Venezuela and Canada, where they cover millions of acres of lands, and harness potential to solve the world’s necessity for a new source of oil. Although the tar sands provide a long term solution to the constantly growing need for more oil, it also has a lot of drawbacks as well. For one thing, mining tar sands and turning it into a usable product emits as much as 4 times as much greenhouse gas per barrel, and up to 45% more emissions overall. Other environmental concerns involve the amount of time needed to mine the tar sands, the excess water from mining, and the overall impact of the mining on the air. Even though in the short term this type of extracting oil could provide a solution, it could also have a negative long term affect for future generations. Mining the oil sands is so appealing because of the potential amounts of oil it could produce for up to the next 40 years. The Athabasca oils sands corporation predicts that the region could produce “5,000,000-7,000,000 barrels per day for about 40 years.” ( ) Currently, 760,000 barrels are being produced daily in the Athabasca region of Canada alone. Other tar sands fields exist in the country of Venezuela,
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course PHYSICS 118 taught by Professor Davidkastor during the Fall '10 term at UMass (Amherst).

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physics paper #2 - Paul OMalley Physics 118 midterm #2 The...

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