Which of the following is NOT caused by the burning of fossil fuels? water pollution, air pollution, release of carbon dioxide, or a meltdown.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The simple answer is “meltdown”—this term almost exclusively refers to the loss of control in an otherwise controlled nuclear fission reaction, for example in a nuclear power plant.  Here, the fuel source is not carbon-based fossil fuels such as gasoline or oil, but rather radioactive elements whose fission causes the release of energy.  The other earth-phenomena mentioned can be traced to the after-effects of carbon-based combustion or manufacture (not always fossil fuels, but also such fuel sources as forest fires), although other causes are also in effect:  release of carbon dioxide, for example, is not only a result of burning fossil fuels, but also part of the natural cycle of plant growth; water pollution is caused by oil spills, non-degradable carbon-based products such as plastics, and by a host of other things—farm waste, etc.;air pollution certainly includes carbon-based products, but also sulfur and other factory-generated byproducts.

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