At the present usage rate the world will run out of available helium in 25 to 30 years according to Nobel Prize winner Professor Robert Richardson of Cornell University. There is currently no way to artificially manufacture it.

Tags: Helium, Jubinsky

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So we should expect to run out in 20-25 years then since humans never stick to the current usage.
Yeah I suppose the Amarillo deposit got there the same way as Sarah Palin's dinosaur fossils. C'mon John, helium is the second most abundant element in the universe. You're not saying that helium does not exist on earth outside the Amarillo storage facility? Are you? Wiki Abundances of the elements.
Here is the picture that is being painted:

Richardson said it has taken 4.7 billion years for the Earth to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will have exhausted within about a hundred years of the US's National Helium Reserve having been established in 1925. He warned that when helium is released to the atmosphere, in helium balloons for example, it is lost forever. There is no chemical way of manufacturing helium, and the supplies we have originated in the very slow radioactive alpha decay that occurs in rocks. It costs around 10,000 times more to extract helium from air than it does from rocks and natural gas reserves.

It seems that our reserve will be used up in 25 to 30 years at the current usage rate and there is no plausible way to significantly increase production.
Please supply the url where Robert Richardson made the statement so I can try make sense of this utterly puzzling discussion.
There have been articles about this all over the place for years now. (Search for helium shortage.) There is only new attention to it because Richardson is complaining as a Nobel prize winner.
Okay I was directed to an article in USA Today by Stephanie Frith.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-02-Helium_N.htm

Please read the article and you'll see that there is no question whatsoever of the world running out of helium. The US government got out of helium production in 1996, but if private enterprise and foreign governments fail to take up the slack, I don't suppose that the US will just stand back and let the crisis unwind.
I think that if prices go up enough for it frivolous users will cut back and private suppliers will increase production. Also, to a certain extent it will be recycled. It seems that the problem has been recognized so hopefully people will start now to circumvent it.

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