Glossary letter K

Kerogen

The intermediate state of organic matter undergoing conversion during the sedimentation process. During this process, rising temperatures cause some of the kerogen to be converted into oil and gas. Kerogen contained in oil shale can also be converted into hydrocarbons using industrial pyrolysis processes.

Kinetic Energy

The energy of an object due to its motion.

Kyoto Protocol

International agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that aimed to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases. It was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. With this agreement, 38 industrialized countries — with the notable exception of the United States — pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% in the period 2008-2012 against 1990 levels.