Do these “fossil fuels” underground help maintain homeostasis in microbial ecosystem or aid in the growth of flora etc?

Or are these substances: coal, animal remains and natural gas detrimental even if left untouched? Since most methods of break down are no longer an option due to decomposers not being able to reach these substances?



  • $\begingroup$ Please don't ask the same question twice. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2021 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


Generally, hydrocarbon fossil fuels cannot be regarded as being beneficial to life on Earth. Even human usage cannot be considered beneficial overall. Energy can be derived from fossil fuels but there have been and there are consequences: carbon dioxide emissions, pollution, impoverishment of some people while others get wealthy.

Gas, prominently methane, is effectively naturally pressure cooked crude oil. Generally oil and gas deposits occur deep underground and have no beneficial influence to life on Earth's surface.

Gas and oil can escape from nearly surface deposits. Such fugitive emissions of gas only add to the green house gas situation. Fugitive oil leaks can and does kill life. Larger animals can be covered by such and die as a result of starvation or an ability to go about its normal life. Similarly, for smaller life forms that get entrapped or covered in such oil.

Coal results from the deep burial of plants that have accumulated in ancient (from millions of years ago) swamps or bogs. Due to the lack of oxygen within such deposits, carbon with the deposits can react with hydrogen to form methane, which can escape into the atmosphere adding to the green house gas situation.

There are various grades of coal, from brown coal (lignite), which can be soft to black coal, such as anthracite, which is hard.

No life forms depend of coal or other hydrocarbon fossil fuels for there existence.


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