A global 'catastrophe' -- coal fires threaten environment, human health

DENVER, CO Major underground fires are blazing in the world's coal-producing nations, threatening the environment and human health, scientists said today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. Although some coal fires can be impossible to extinguish, new technologies provide hope that experts may someday be able to control them, if not put them out altogether.

"Coal fires are a global catastrophe," said Glenn Stracher of East Georgia College. But, surprisingly few people know it, he added.

"For most people who don't live near one of these fires, it never reaches them," Stracher said. "There may be a little clip in the newspaper, but most people aren't aware of the extent of the problems involved in these fires."

The coal fire problem is most severe in countries such as China, India, and Indonesia, although smaller fires are still burning in the United States, for example in Colorado and Pennsylvania.

According to Stracher's forthcoming article in the International Journal of Coal Geology, scientists have determined that coal fires in China consume up to 200 million tons of coal per year. For comparison, coal consumption in the United States during 2000 was just over one billion tons, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (Please see the web site, http://www.eia.doe.gov /cneaf/coal/statepro/imagemap/us1p1.html)

The Hazards of Coal Fires

These ultra-hot fires can occur naturally--the right combination of sunlight and oxygen can cause spontaneous combustion--but they are frequently caused by humans. In these cases, the burning coal may be located either in abandoned mines or waste piles, or in coal seams, ignited by heat from above-ground fires set to clear the landscape for farming.

Once underway, coal fires can burn for decades, even centuries. In the process, they release large vo


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Poplar DNA code cracked -- a step in combating global warming?
2. Do genes respond to global warming?
3. Fossils reveal direct link between global warming and genetic diversity in wildlife
4. Technology already exists to stabilize global warming
5. NASA scientists get global fix on food, wood & fiber use
6. New version of premier global climate model released
7. Trapping carbon in soil key for protecting global food security, dealing with climate change
8. First ever standards linking climate change, biodiversity and poverty seek global peer review
9. 51 globally threatened species get new lease on life in the Caucasus
10. Institute for OneWorld Health CEO to speak at BIO on leveraging opportunities for global health
11. Earth, sky tapped in unique global climate change study

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/10/2020)... ... ... Today CJ BIO announced the first in a series of Food Ingredient MasterClass webinars, ... revolutionizing ingredient mixes, nutritional content and flavor profiles across a range of savory foods ... AM (CDT) during SHIFT20, the virtual edition of the IFT Annual Meeting & Food ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Cure Glioblastoma, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit research ... adult brain cancer—announced today the appointments of its first Senior Fellows: John Boockvar, ... organization’s initiatives and overall vision. , "Senior Fellows are more than advisors; they ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... First Aid Africa, ... a UK supplier and manufacturer of innovative portable renewable energy equipment, have announced ... fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia. , One of Renovagen’s FAST FOLD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... ... eSource has long been touted as the solution to high data management and ... it did not take off as quickly as people initially expected, and where eSource ... capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then repurposing it for downstream analysis, at ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 16, 2020 , ... “We are thrilled ... Wave Bioactives. “It’s the only technology of its kind on the market and we ... onions with the protective capacity of traditional cultured ingredients, creating a natural way to ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... HONG KONG (PRWEB) , ... July 09, 2020 ... ... chemical compound called 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU) is commonly used to suppress pigment formation in ... years, the PolyU research team led by Dr MA has been using the ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing ... to its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. ... purchase ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: