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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th


Science, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus



Microsoft Excel

Global Fossil Fuel Consumption

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  • This resource includes an interactive graph and table that shows global "primary energy" consumption by fossil fuel type, beginning in the year 1800.
  • Students can hover over the graph to get more information or use the sliding scale at the bottom to zoom into various time periods.
Teaching Tips


  • The site explains how the data was collected.
  • Students can toggle on and off the relative amount that each type of fuel contributed to the total amount of emissions under the Settings menu.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Learners should be aware of where most electricity comes from and/or how it is produced.
  • The linked graph is only for the world as a whole, but there are links for data by country, per capita, and many others to choose from.
  • Consider using this graph in math classes to support ratios and proportions lessons or lessons about graphing data in a stacked graph vs. individual graphs for each dependent variable.
  • This resource can be used to create awareness about one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Compare this graph to a graph of global greenhouse gas concentrations over time and then have students write a paragraph describing the how the two graphs are related.
Scientist Notes

Fossil fuel consumption is shown to be increasing from 1985-2020 globally. This resource is recommended for students to explore the rate of consumption of energy from nonrenewable energy sources.

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