Oceanographer Dr. Cooper talks about temperate climate and power plants

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An interview with British Oceanographer Dr. Cooper about power plants in areas such as Lake Superior, and how it may affect temperate climate of water.


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SPEAKER 1: Can you draw some parallels from your discussion about the Arctic ridge to what might happen in the Lake Superior if its temperature were raised by a power plant.

SPEAKER 2: I can't give it a comparison with the Arctic, but it is a problem we have in Britain. And on the whole, I don't speak of thermal pollution. I talk of thermal addition because in our temperate climate, I think in general, the consequences can be beneficial.

One has to be extremely careful in generalizing because if you're in the tropics or even possibly in Florida where the temperatures in which animals are living are bumping against the absolute ceiling against which animals can live and you push up the temperatures there, you may kill things.

For example, there are proposals for a power station and Biscayne Bay. And arguments are being made that is very dangerous, and it may well be so. But in temperate climates, I'm inclined to think that a bit more warmth is beneficial.

SPEAKER 1: What about the future of fishing in the oceans? Is that a resource that's likely to run out or decline to the point where it's no longer important to the world?

SPEAKER 2: It could run out, but due to overfishing. The greed of mankind is quite extraordinary. And you will get communities who'll fish a stock completely out. And there's always a risk of that happening, and there are international bodies who are trying to stop it happening. But I do see a future for fish farming, which we are able to do in Britain. It is not economic. It's experimental at the moment.

But the South of Scotland electricity board who are running a very big nuclear power station, which is twice 2,000 kilowatts, two very big stations, a great deal of waste heat are experimenting with using this heat to assist the growth of commercial fish. And the most successful has been the flounder, which our flounder is not a very tasty fish and not very marketable.

But they're having some success with the sole, which is a marketable fish and tasty. And they're hopeful that they will succeed with turbot, which is our prime fish. And I'm very hopeful that [? net ?] will develop. And that in temperate climates where you have got this thermal emission from power stations in particular, ways will be found in conjunction with rearing and breeding techniques of getting very large numbers of fish under controlled conditions. And I'm very sanguine that will work.

SPEAKER 1: So the possible byproduct of a big power plant in the middle of Lake Superior might be a fish farming enterprise.

SPEAKER 2: I would think that some enterprising entrepreneur ought to try it.


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