By Robert K. Kaufmann and Cutler J. ClevelandThe world's first web-based textbook on environmental science. Learn more


Energy Wonders of the World

An energy wonder is a source, conversion, flow, storage or use of energy that has a profound impact on society. A natural energy wonder is unique in terms of its type, size, rate, or impact on the physical and biological processes of the planet.  Examples here include the Sun and the Earth's core.  An energy source wonder is an energy resource whose magnitude and use by society is unsurpassed by any other, such as Ghawar, the world's largest oil field.  A human energy wonder is a technology, device or institution that has a profound impact on the ability of humans to convert energy into goods and services, such as Three Gorges Dam.