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Combustion of Fossil Fuels

  • Date Submitted: 10/27/2012 11:18 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.5 
  • Words: 973
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Fossil fuels include common sources of energy such as coal and natural gas. These fuel sources developed thousands--sometimes millions--of years ago, depending upon the type. The energy output varies with the material, with peat producing the least amount of energy and the lowest amount of carbon. The pollution resulting from fossil fuels is caused by the toxic emissions they release. Fossil fuel combustion releases carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, methane and other emissions in the air. Although some of these chemicals are naturally occurring, the high concentrations cause pollution and its effects.
Significance
  * Although some emissions from fossil fuels have been reduced, total emissions increased in the United States from 1990 through 2007. The trend threatens to continue as populations grow, causing an increased dependency on fossil fuels, according to the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
Sources
  * The primary sources of pollution caused by fossil fuels are industry and vehicle exhaust. Coal production is a lucrative and important source of revenue for the United States and other coal-producing countries. In 2008, U.S. coal production topped 1 million tons, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The potential for development exists within 38 states. The pollution caused by fossil fuels depends upon the type of coal burned. Anthracite coals, for instance, contain high levels of sulfur. Sulfur dioxide is a primary component of acid rain.

Environmental Effects
  * One of the more serious consequences of pollution caused by fossil fuels is global warming or climate change. Fossil fuel combustion introduces the so-called greenhouse gases into the air. Scientists believe that carbon and other emissions in the atmosphere created ground level ozone. This layer traps heat at the Earth's surface, causing land and water temperatures to rise. These temperature increases in turn cause sea...

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