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Thermal Pollution

Recently, as a result of the increased energy demand, we’ve allowed our planet to begin overheating. With the introduction of more and more heated water into our lakes and rivers, and Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere we’ve managed to raise the temperature of this vast resource. Even more ignorant is our failure to learn from our mistakes. Now, through thermal pollution (the introduction of waste heat into water and air), we’ve begun destroying the womb of all life: the earth’s vast water network.
There are four major causes of thermal pollution: The use of water as a cooling agent, deforestation of shorelines, soil erosion, and the burning of fossil fuels.. The foremost cause being the use of water as a cooling agent in nuclear power plants and other industrial facilities. After the water has absorbed the excess heat of nuclear rods or other machinery it is returned to the environment (usually a river or lake) at 9 to 20 degrees warmer a temperature. More stringent regulations are imposed in the U.S., but this doesn’t help much because most of the world’s nuclear power plants are located in France and other European nations. Less obvious is how shoreline deforestation and soil erosion contribute to the problem. The soil erosion makes the water muddy, which in turn increases the light absorbed. Thus, the water temperature is raised. Deforestation of shorelines further contributes to the problem in two ways. First, it increases soil erosion. Secondly, it increases the amount of light that strikes the water. Both of which increase the water’s temperature. Finally, the single human activity that is most likely to have a large impact on the climate is the burning of “fossil fuels” such as coal, oil and gas. These fuels contain carbon. Burning them makes carbon dioxide gas. Since the early 1800s, when people began burning large amounts of coal and oil, the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has increased by nearly 30%, a…

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