BERLIN (AFP) — The Rhine river between Germany and the Netherlands is on average three degrees warmer than 100 years ago, with power stations the main culprits, the German green group BUND said on Tuesday.
According to a study commission by BUND, this stretch of the river is warmed two degrees Celsius by waste water pumped in by industry and by nuclear and coal-fired power plants, and by one degree by global warming.
The warming of one of Europe's biggest rivers affects wildlife, with salmon known to stop swimming upstream to spawn if the water temperature reached 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), BUND said. Temperatures of 28 degrees (82 Fahrenheit) have been recorded.
"The waste heat from all German power plants would be enough to warm every single building in the country," Joerg Nitsch, head of BUND in the German state of Hesse, said in a statement.
"This gigantic waste of heat that the Rhine has to deal with shows how utterly inefficient producing electricity with coal and nuclear power is," he said.
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