Oil and Gas Supplies Will Peak in a Decade, Swedish Scientists Assert

World oil and gas supplies will peak soon after 2010 and be in short supply thereafter, causing worldwide economic havoc unless societies have adopted alternatives to fossil fuels, Swedish scientists predict in a controversial article published today in New Scientist magazine. Other scientists have estimated that supplies might top out in 2050, but geologists at the University of Uppsala in Sweden say that forecast is off base because oil and gas supplies are 80 percent smaller than widely believed. If the Swedes are correct, one possible side effect would be a forestalling of dire climate change predictions, because with less fuel to burn there would be lower emissions of carbon dioxide. But environmentalists might want to be wary of buying into predictions of oil and gas shortages — they’ve gotten burned before by asserting that supplies were running low.