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Interactive Labs

Energy Lab

Lessons > Managing Resources > Step 1

As you begin the simulation, you will need to change energy production levels for the next decade. Make no assumptions about increased energy efficiency or as yet unproven technologies and stay within the tolerances defined for each specific fuel source. If you approach a limit on a particular fuel, you will be given a warning—the slider bar will turn yellow and indicate why you cannot use more of that particular fuel. If you hit a hard limit—depleting the world's entire reserves of that fuel or power source—you will not be allowed to increase the use of that power source. Remember that you must meet the energy demand curve for the decade in which you're deciding the energy portfolio.

Before running the simulator, predict which sources will have to increase, decrease, or stay the same in order to both supply the world with energy and remain under the 550 ppm CO2 limit in 2030. Record your prediction in the data table, using an up arrow for an increase, a down arrow for a decrease, and a dash for no change. Now click on the pencil and paper icon in the Adjust Energy Source button and adjust your energy sources for 2010.

Record the percentage and indicate whether it is an increase, a decrease, or stayed the same. Click on the Run the Decade button and record the amount of atmospheric CO2. Reset the simulator and repeat for 2020 and 2030, trying different source combinations each decade.

Then, answer the following:

  1. How close was your prediction to any of the simulation runs? Were your simulation runs similar? How did they differ?
  2. Did you deplete any sources? Which source increased the most and what kinds of effects would increasing this source's use have on both the standard of living and different biomes?

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