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Energy - the Impact of Fossil Fuels on the Environment

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The impact of fossil fuels on the environment

  1. The increase of green house effect; Global warming; Climate Change Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “greenhouse gas,” trapping heat in the lowest part of the earth’s atmosphere. This contributes to “global warming” – the average temperature of the earth slowly increases, affecting ecosystems across the globe. Climate change is responsible for huge economical consequences.( the number of significant natural catastrophes such as floods and storms rose nine-fold, and the associated economic losses rose)
  2. Accumulation of solid wastes Converting fossil fuels may also result in the accumulation of solid waste. This type of accumulation has a devastating impact on the environment. Waste requires adequate land space for containment and/or treatment, as well as financial support and monitoring for waste not easily disposed of. This type of waste also increases the risk of toxic runoff which can poison surface and groundwater sources for many miles. Toxic runoff also endangers surrounding vegetation, wildlife, and marine life. Possibly the most visible impact of fossil fuel production is the potential for environmental disaster during transportation
  3. The rise in sea levels Sea levels are rising twice as fast as they were 150 years ago and man-made greenhouse emissions are the prime cause
  4. Health implications people die each year from the side effects of climate change and the numbers could almost double by 2020. These side effects range from malaria to malnutrition and diarrhoea that follow in the wake of floods, droughts and warmer temperatures.
  5. Shift in the Ecological balance and land impacts Extraction of fossil fuels requires significant infrastructure to remove the fuel from the earth. Roads, storage tanks, oil and gas wells, and other development must be built to support extraction. Because much fossil fuel extraction takes place in rural or wild areas, this development often has significant impacts on plants and wildlife. Oil, coal, and gas are typically found underground below groundwater levels. During extraction, drilling can break the barrier between fossil fuel and groundwater reserves. -contaminate water supplies. Possibly the most visible impact of fossil fuel production is the potential for environmental disaster during transportation
  6.  Rising Prices: Middle-east countries have huge reserves of oil and natural gas and many other countries are dependent on them for constant supply of these fuels. OPEC constantly monitors the volume of oil consumed and then adjusts its own production to maintain its desired barrel price. This results in worldwide price fluctuations
  7. Non-Renewable: As of today, fossil fuels are being extracted at an exorbitant rate to meet the gap between demand and supply and it is estimated that they will be finished in next 30-40 years.

Renewable energy sources and challenges.

Benefits: In contrast, most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions. low emission foorprint. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it reduces overall healthcare costs. Compared with fossil fuel technologies, which are typically mechanized and capital intensive, the renewable energy industry is more labor-intensive. This means that, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. Renewable energy is providing affordable electricity across the country right now, and can help stabilize energy prices in the future. While renewable facilities require upfront investments to build, once built they operate at very low cost and, for most technologies, the fuel is free. As a result, renewable energy prices are relatively stable over time.



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