How long will Earth's non-renewable resources last?
The main focus of the project is how long will it take humanity before it depletes it's non-renewable resources (assuming that current consumption trends continue and recycling makes up to 25% of the demand). There are 24 vital mineral resources graphed, broken up into three rows and the three main fossil fuels - petroleum, natural gas and coal in a separate column on the right.
Name, industrial uses, quantities remaining, annual consumption and production worldwide, production growth for the last ten years (2000/01-2010/11) and remaining years until it's finally depleted (with and without recycling) are provided for each resource. We added another dimension to the graph with a folded paper graph ontop to visualize remaining years, which is to be printed separately, cut, folded and glued considering the marks on the base-sheet.
The raw information was provided in a spreadsheet (Google Docs).
Made for informationisbeautiful.net
The paper graph is color coded, depending on how many years are left until depletion. The darkest shade stands for ‘safe’ resources, the ones that aren't likely to be depleted for at least another 40 to 100 years, the midtone stands for resources that are in risk of depletion in the near future, 40 to 20 years, and the lightest shade is for those that are critical or that are likely to be depleted in less than 20 years.
Sources US Geological Survey, Adroit Resources, World Bureau of Metal Statistics, International Copper Study Group, World Gold Council, Minormetals.com, Roskill Nickel Report, Cordell et al (2009), Smil (2000), Silver Institute, World Nuclear Association, International Lead and Zinc Study Group, Wikipedia, British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy 2010.