Thermal pollution

This essay on thermal pollution explores the meaning, causes, effects and measures to be taken against thermal pollution.


Thermal pollution essay introduction:  The importance of heat for living beings is known to all. We know, for example, that very small variations of our body temperature are enough to produce discomfort or even death. In spite of this, few people consider that the changes of temperature that were not predicted in a natural way, however small, will generate changes in the life of the affected organisms and that these can be very serious.

Today’s modern technology gives man the ability to divert the course of rivers, drain lakes and swamp areas, build nuclear power plants, etc., which cause, to a greater or lesser extent, changes in temperature that can affect large areas of the biosphere.  Any heat change in any part of the environment, which is the result of human activity, is considered as Thermal Pollution.

In other Words,  thermal pollution is the deterioration of the quality of the air or of the water, either by an increase or decrease in temperature, negatively affecting the living beings and the environment. It can also be said that thermal pollution is the unwanted heat energy that accumulates in any part of natural environments.


 The causes of Thermal Pollution:

In most productive activities of modern man, heat energy is generated as an unwanted by product . Some of the major causes of thermal pollution are:

Hot Gases: Discharged into the atmosphere by leaks of internal combustion engine vehicles, such as cars and trucks.

The elimination of plants and trees from the coast of rivers and lakes has caused the shadow on the banks to disappear and has caused an increase in water temperature.

   Nuclear plants: Thermoelectric or nuclear power plants produce energy. The fuel they use is transformed into heat to produce that energy. But to cool a plant a lot of water is needed, so they usually build their facilities near rivers and lakes, and in coastal areas.

In nuclear plants 50 to 60% more heat is lost than in fossil fuel plants, so those are more harmful than the latter, from the point of view of thermal pollution.


Effects of Thermal pollution

Thermal pollution has very serious consequences for the biodiversity that inhabits seas and rivers due to the change in the composition and quality of its waters.


Aquatic ecosystems are affected by thermal ascent, because several cold-blooded species that inhabit them are very sensitive to temperature variations. They can not regulate their body temperature like other animals do.

Eutrophication produces an excess of nutrients that favors the growth of algae that cloud the water. This phenomenon causes many animals in the area to die or migrate by decreasing the quality of the water, leaving it with bad odors. In turn, fish from warmer waters are directed towards these areas, damaging the biological balance.

Global thermal pollution has long-term harmful effects on the planet, but the short-term consequences that damage the environment are very serious because they affect mainly overpopulated cities, where large factories and industries operate.

Sudden changes in temperature in man can cause his death. If the change is not extremely abrupt, the results will depend on the variation of the temperature, the speed of the change and a series of external factors such as humidity and others.

The serious consequences of thermal pollution have impacted on the lives of people and other living beings. They have caused the migration of entire populations, has contributed to the increase in global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.


Measures to combat thermal pollution

The phenomenon of thermal pollution has been studied since the 70s of the last century. Consumers are important in reducing this pollution. Their ecological conscience may weigh on the institutions, so that they apply more stringent environmental regulations that contemplate measures against heat leaks.


On the other hand, citizens can also put pressure on companies to take control measures and reduce such pollution. The use of evaporation towers in power plants decreases the temperature in part. Also, various controls are used to avoid excessive heat increase outside. Nuclear power plants must cease their activity temporarily if they can not lower their outlet temperature to established limits.


The support of cleaner technologies is another way in which consumers can be important. The increase of the efficiency in the industrial installations has supposed the reduction of waste of the energy in the form of heat. The so-called cogeneration plants take advantage of excess heat for other production processes. The substitution of energy from fossil fuel or atomic power plants with a renewable source, such as wind or solar power, helps to reduce this type of pollution.


In households, consumers can reduce the use of energy . In this way, in addition to saving money, they will reduce the impact of thermal pollution. Likewise, consumers can also bet on more ecological life systems that reduce the destruction of ecosystems.


Thermal pollution essay Conclusion:  Thermal pollution is a global problem and contributes to the great problem of global warming. It is estimated that for the coming years the need for cooling water for thermoelectric plants will be much greater than the total amount of water used today. These will be concentrated on the coasts and along rivers with sufficient capacity. So we do not realize that heating a body of water is a local problem, that the ocean is so vast that its temperature will not be altered and that we can continue to abuse our environment will continue to deteriorate the system where we live.

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