By: ACAL ANITA Earth's Hydrosphere and Water Pollution
What is the HYDROSPHERE? The hydrosphere is the liquid water component of the Earth. It includes the oceans, seas, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. The hydrosphere covers about 70% of the surface of the Earth and is the home for many plants and animals.
The hydrosphere, like the atmosphere, is always in motion. The motion of rivers and streams can be easily seen, while the motion of the water within lakes and ponds is less obvious. Some of the motion of the oceans and seas can be easily seen while the large scale motions that move water great distances such as between the tropics and poles or between continents are more difficult to see. These types of motions are in the form of currents that move the warm waters in the tropics toward the poles, and colder water from the polar regions toward the tropics. These currents exist on the surface of the ocean and at great depths in the ocean (up to about 4km).
The characteristics of the ocean which affects its motion are its temperature and salinity. Warm water is less dense or lighter and therefore tends to move up toward the surface, while colder water is more dense or heavier and therefore tends to sink toward the bottom. Salty water is also more dense or heavier and thus tends to sink, while fresh or less salty water is less dense or lighter and thus tends to rise toward the surface. The combination of the water's temperature and salinity determines whether it rises to the surface, sinks to the bottom or stays at some intermediate depth.
The oceans currents are also affected by the motion of the atmosphere, or winds, above it. The energy in the wind gets transferred to the ocean at the ocean surface affecting the motion of the water there. The effect of wind is largest at the ocean surface.
Water Pollution Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds
Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water; and, in almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.
Water pollution is a major global problem. It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of China's cities suffer from some degree of water pollution, and nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, industrialized countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of assessed streammiles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of assessed bay and estuarinesquare miles were classified as polluted.