What are the negative effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment?
The burning of fossil fuels causes equally great environmental problems, including the release of pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Combustion of fossil fuels produces air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals. Coal produces the greatest quantity of pollutants when it burns, followed by oil, and then by natural gas, which produces the least. Some of the pollutants released by burning fossil fuels combine with water in the atmosphere to produce acid rain, which negatively impacts both natural areas and the built environment.