Essay about thermal pollution

The possibility of climate change increases with thermal pollution, which has a severe ill-effect on agricultural production. The pollution of any kind, which changes the natural temperature of water at an undesirable scale leads to thermal pollution. One of the common causes of thermal pollution is the use of cooling water by power plants and industrial manufacturers. When the water used for cooling comes back to the natural environment, its temperature is high. The change in temperature decreases the amount of oxygen and also affects the ecosystem.

The temperature of the water increases with thermal pollution, which leads to decrease in aqueous oxygen. Life of aquatic organisms is based on aquatic vegetation. So, water pollution seriously affects the aquatic species. Generally, coal is burnt to generate thermal energy; the energy generated is converted into electrical energy. But in the process when coal is burnt, there is an emission of many gases which pollute the atmosphere. These gases are mainly carbon monoxide, fly ash, sulphur, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, etc.

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As their concentrations increase in the atmosphere, thermal pollution is spread in the environment. Many large factories excessively heat up objects for smelting. Besides this, there are many such substances in these objects which cannot be used in the factory. Instead of disposing them off properly, industries discharge them into the river. Due to this, the water of the river becomes polluted.

It has serious implications for environment as the fish helps to keep it clean by eating waste material in rivers. Oxygen cannot dissolve in hot water and due to this many aquatic organisms are destroyed. Radioactive substances are major pollutants. The water released from the thermal and nuclear power stations make the aquatic organisms and humans sick by polluting rivers and lakes. Generally, industries take water from a source such as river , use it for cooling and then return the hot water to the same source. For example, power stations run the turbines from the steam produced by heating the water.

After the evaporation of steam from water, for the effective functioning of the turbines, it is cooled and converted into water. This phenomenon is seen especially in seasonal waters and is known as thermal enrichment.

An extreme case is derived from the aggregational habits of the manatee , which often uses power plant discharge sites during winter. Projections suggest that manatee populations would decline upon the removal of these discharges. Releases of unnaturally cold water from reservoirs can dramatically change the fish and macroinvertebrate fauna of rivers, and reduce river productivity. In Australia , where many rivers have warmer temperature regimes, native fish species have been eliminated, and macroinvertebrate fauna have been drastically altered. This may be mitigated by designing the dam to release warmer surface waters instead of the colder water at the bottom of the reservoir.

When a power plant first opens or shuts down for repair or other causes, fish and other organisms adapted to particular temperature range can be killed by the abrupt change in water temperature, either an increase or decrease, known as "thermal shock". In the United States , about 75 to 82 percent of thermal pollution is generated by power plants.


  • Causes and Effects of Thermal Pollution.
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Some facilities use once-through cooling OTC systems which do not reduce temperature as effectively as the above systems. During warm weather, urban runoff can have significant thermal impacts on small streams, as storm water passes over hot parking lots, roads and sidewalks. Storm water management facilities that absorb runoff or direct it into groundwater , such as bioretention systems and infiltration basins , can reduce these thermal effects. These related systems for managing runoff are components of an expanding urban design approach commonly called green infrastructure.

Retention basins stormwater ponds tend to be less effective at reducing runoff temperature, as the water may be heated by the sun before being discharged to a receiving stream.

Effect of water–air heat transfer on the spread of thermal pollution in rivers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved Boston Globe. Water Pollution - Causes, Effects and Control. New Delhi: New Age International.


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Ecology of Estuaries: Anthropogenic Effects. Marine Science Series. Aquatic Pollution: An Introductory Text. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Letcher, T. Retrieved 15 September Environmental Science. May EPA R Over time, the higher temperatures in the water cause problems for the biomes because of the breakdown of oxygen.

Another cause of thermal pollution comes from the runoff water that comes from the pavement. Roads, parking lots, and other pavement get significantly warmer than unpaved land. Cities are warmer than the country because the composition of pavement causes it to hold heat for a long time. Water that has passed from concrete into sewer systems or other natural bodies of water is too warm and causes thermal pollution. One of the advantages of trees and large plants is that they provide shade. For many bodies of water, the surrounding trees and plants help keep sunlight from shining directly on the water.

The Importance of the Issue of Thermal Pollution | Kibin

Deforestation is the process of removing a large number of trees and plants from an area. When it happens near bodies of water, it causes the temperature of the water to increase rapidly. Deforestation has been one of the leading culprits in global warming because of the increased greenhouse gasses from the lack of oxygen, and also the thermal pollution it causes that destroys marine ecosystems.

Volcanoes or other geothermal activity on the ocean floor can cause a rapid increase in water temperature, and so can lightening striking water. While naturally occurring thermal pollution is unavoidable, the most significant causes of it are human-made. There is a debate among scholars about whether the effects of thermal pollution are positive or negative.

Some people believe the results of this type of pollution are negative because of how it can destroy ecosystems. Others agree that there are some harmful consequences, but without the industries operating how they do, human life would be negatively affected, or even obsolete. Wastewater management and production of necessary products cause thermal pollution, and some people believe the effects on the ecosystem are less significant than human life would be without it.

Warmer temperatures decrease Dissolved Oxygen DO in water. Warm water is unable to hold as much oxygen as cold water. When water temperatures rise, especially rapidly, it suffocates marine wildlife and plants. Other complications from warm water include algae blooms, which also reduce oxygen levels in the water.

When water at high temperatures is continuously released from power plants or other industries, toxins are being pushed into the natural water source through the process. The toxins being released include harmful chemicals and radiation, and those toxins have a significant impact on the living organisms that depend on the natural source of water.