Rhine Temperature up 3 degrees in Century

This bit comes under unintended consequences. Most of our energy production comes to us by way of a heat engine. Such engines convert high quality heat into low grade heat in exchange for brake horsepower. You always need a heat sink to maintain the proper range at the condenser end of the process. Rivers are perfect for this which is why all such plants are by rivers. They are just not obvious about it all.

This also means that even with the advent of super cold winters as has happened in the historic past, it appears unlikely that the Rhine will ever get to freeze over while this is going on.

I should also mention, that even with new technologies, a lot of the available energy may still come in the form of heat. So I do not think this is a problem that is likely to simply disappear one day. It may also be preferable to have waste heat dumped in this manner. It will certainly improve the biological carrying capacity save for a few inconvenienced salmon.

I suspect by now that the Rhine is well on the way to been cleaned up as has become a priority throughout Europe and the Americas. We are a long way from been complete but the most egregious situations have largely ended.

Rhine three degrees warmer than 100 years ago: study

by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) June 30, 2009

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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