Thermal PollutionThermal pollution is real problem in our society today. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, nevertheless it’s affecting our local ecosystem, and communities disastrously. Thermal pollution is when a plant or facility takes in water from natural sources, and either heats it or cools it down and then puts it back to its natural resource with the changed temperature. According to research, facilities usually use it as a cooling method to keep their machinery at the right temperature, or to make better products. Production and Manufacturing companies, use the cooling method, to keep their machineries at the right temperature, when they release the water to its source, in a higher temperature.
When the heated water goes back to lakes, or oceans. Most marine life, have specific temperature needs, and are unable to survive sudden change in temperature. Even slight temperature change, may cause reproductive problems, and many diseases. I have gathered some information on the causes and effects of thermal pollution. Causes of Thermal Pollution-Like I said before, the biggest source of thermal pollution are production and manufacturing plants.
These plants take water from a nearby source, and use it to cool down their machines, and then release the water back to its source, in a higher temperature. This causes the water in the natural source to rise in temperature very fast. When oxygen levels are changed, it lowers the quality of the wildlife underwater. It can also wipe out, streamside vegetation, which depends on specific levels of oxygen and temperature. If companies are not careful, it can completely destroy a habit, and the chances of wildlife there would be very low.Another major problem that causes thermal pollution is soil erosion. Soil erosion means taking away the top layer of the soil, and is the most fertile. Soil erosion cause the water levels to rise, making it exposed to more sunlight.
The high temperature can cause anaerobic conditions, which means the environment lacks free oxygen, but may contain atomic bond compounds, such as nitrate, nitrite and sulfites, and this could be really fatal to aquatic biomes.Deforestation can cause thermal pollution as well. Trees and plants help stop the sunlight, from directly hitting the ponds, lakes and rivers. When deforestation happens, the sunlight directly hits the water, causing it to absorb more, and the water temperature rises.Natural causes are also a part of thermal pollution. Natural causes such as, volcanoes and geothermal activity under the sea, or ocean, can cause the water bodies to rise in temperature, if they can trigger the warm lava. Another natural cause is lightning. When lightning hits the water, it can produce massive amount of heat, this will cause the overall temperature of the water to rise very fast, and harshly.
It affects the environment very much and in a very negative way. These were the main causes of thermal pollution. The major cause is done by us humans, using the water to cool down our machineries, and producing products. Thermal causes have many terrible effects, that affect our environment, society, wildlife, and health. Here are few effects of thermal pollution.Effects of Thermal Pollution-One of the many effects is, decrease in dissolved oxygen.
The warm water holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water, that’s why warm temperature in the water can decrease the level of dissolved oxygen. This can create suffocation for the plants, and animals under the water, such as; fish, other sea creatures, and small organisms like, Copepods. Which can rise enough to create anaerobic conditions for the wildlife under the sea. Warm water can also allow algae to come on surface of the water, and growing algae can decrease levels of dissolved oxygen.Thermal pollution also increases the metabolic rate of organisms, this means it causes organisms to consume more food than required, if the environment isn’t stable than it can interrupt the entire food chain.A change in the biological activity in the water, can cause loss in biodiversity. Changes in the environment, can cause some species to move to a different place, because of the warmer temperature in the water. Some organisms can adapt easily may have an advantage, against some who are not used to warmer temperatures.
A sudden shock can kill many fish, insects, plants and other organisms. Warmer water can be comfortable for few species, however it could be very lethal for others. Some species can experience changes in metabolism and few other biology effects.
Another major problem is that, there could be a significant stop in reproduction of aquatic wildlife, because reproduction can only happen in a certain range of temperature. More than the necessary temperature can cause the release of immature eggs or can prevent normal development of eggs.These were all the effects and causes of thermal pollution. Overall thermal pollution is a serious issue in our society today, and we as a community should help improve it.