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Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
Welcome to Wikipedia's Energy portal, your gateway to energy. This portal is aimed at giving you access to all energy related topics in all of its forms.
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Introduction

Energy Arc (central electrode of a Plasma Lamp).jpg
A plasma lamp, using electrical energy to create plasma, light, heat, movement and a faint sound

In physics, energy (from Ancient Greek: ἐνέργεια, enérgeia, “activity”) is the quantitative property that is transferred to a body or to a physical system, recognizable in the performance of work and in the form of heat and light. Energy is a conserved quantity—the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The unit of measurement for energy in the International System of Units (SI) is the joule (J).

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object (for instance due to its position in a field), the elastic energy stored in a solid object, chemical energy associated with chemical reactions, the radiant energy carried by electromagnetic radiation, and the internal energy contained within a thermodynamic system. All living organisms constantly take in and release energy.

Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy.

Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The Earth's climates and ecosystems have processes that are driven either by the energy the planet receives from the Sun or by geothermal energy. (Full article...)

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Climate Change 2007, the fourth report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to evaluate the risks of global warming since 1990, is being published in sections throughout 2007. Prior to publishing, the report - which is the combined work of hundreds of experts - is reviewed by representatives from many of the world's governments.

Due to the accumulation of evidence, the report goes further than previous reports by stating that 'warming of the climate system is unequivocal'. It goes on to say that 'most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is 'very likely' due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations'. Fossil fuel use is given as the primary source of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, with the increase in methane being very likely caused by a combination of agricultural practices and fossil fuel use.

Based on an analysis of computer climate models, the report states that average surface temperatures will rise during this century, most likely between 1.1 to 4.3°C (5.2 to 11.5 °F), depending on the mitigation actions taken. Excluding the effects of ice sheet flow, they also predict a sea level rise of 18 to 26 cm (7 to 23 inches), more heat waves and more heavy rain. An increase in areas affected by droughts, in the intensity of tropical cyclones and in extreme high tides is also likely. The IPCC believe that stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations is possible at a reasonable cost, with stabilization between 445 and 535 ppm costing less than 3% of global GDP. They do warn, however, that a 'large shift in the pattern of investment' is required.

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Did you know?

  • Despite declines in production in recent years, Victoria still produces almost 20% of Australia's crude oil?
  • 4.26 million tonnes of the sun are converted to energy every second by nuclear fusion?

Selected biography

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John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was a controversial American industrialist who revolutionized the oil industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. He is often regarded as the richest person in history.

Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870 and ran it until he retired in the late 1890s. He continued to retain his stock and his title as president until 1911, when the company was broken up for carrying out illegal monopoly practices. The new companies formed included the predecessors of Conoco, Amoco, Chevron, Esso, Mobil and Sohio. Rockefeller, who had rarely sold shares, owned stock in all of them. As gasoline had grown in importance his wealth had soared and he became the world's richest man and the first billionaire.

Rockefeller's fortune was used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy with foundations that had a major impact on medicine, education, and scientific research. His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and was instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. At his death, at the age of 98, Rockefeller's remaining fortune was estimated at $1.4 billion. As a percentage of the United States economy, no other American fortune has ever come close.

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