Ending our reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas is critical to reducing the already devastating effects of climate change.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global greenhouse gas emissions have steadily increased. They’re now at an all-time high.
One of the most effective ways to reduce harmful emissions is to transition residential, commercial, and utility-scale energy to renewable sources such as solar power.
In this article, you will learn about the various environmental benefits of going solar.
Environmental Benefits of Solar Power
There are many advantages of solar. Not only is it a clean and renewable energy source, but it does not emit harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or methane.
- Reduce Eutrophication
Power plants don’t only emit harmful greenhouse gases; they also release nitrogen oxide, which creates a greenhouse gas known as tropospheric ozone.
Although nitrogen oxide occurs naturally, the additional release from power plants stimulates eutrophication, a water body condition where high levels of nutrients like nitrogen cause excessive algae blooms.
Algae blooms kill fish, aquatic mammals, and plant life.
- Reduce Ocean Acidification
As carbon emissions are released, oceans absorb them, which causes an increase in ocean surface temperatures and a drop in pH levels.
This chemical reaction is ocean acidification, and it has harmful effects on coral reefs and various ocean species.
The excess heat causes coral bleaching, which in turn causes diseases. For organisms that build hard shells like oysters, it can cause their shells to dissolve—impeding growth and reproduction.
- Reduce Extreme Drought
Like the increase in ocean temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions also increase atmospheric temperatures, contributing to prolonged droughts.
Moreover, regions that are already dry become dryer, and this can cause areas susceptible to wildfires to experience more extreme wildfires.
- Reduce Melting IceCaps
Cold regions like the Arctic and Antarctic are experiencing excessive ice melting due to increasing temperatures from climate change.
This ice melting is causing the sea level to rise. By 2100, scientists expect sea level to increase by 12 feet at a minimum. Not only does this cause more flooding, but coastal erosion.
- Reduce Loss of Biodiversity
The effects of climate change are also impacting wildlife. By 2100, about half of the world’s species can go extinct.
Animals like great apes, polar bears, giraffes, bees, and many more are losing their habitats because of higher temperatures and extreme weather events.
For instance, we mention the melting of ice. Polar bears use ice for hunting for food; without ice, they face starvation and ultimately death. The situation is similar for so many other animals.
Choose Solar Power
Solar power is sustainable energy and therefore offers many environmental benefits like reducing the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Combating climate change is not an easy task, but it is critical for the future of the planet and generations to come. Just like these issues impact the environment, they also affect people.
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