Kitty asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Can throwing salt into the ocean effect the ecosystem?

My mom and I were talking about how to make freshwater from saltwater, and got into an argument.

The scenario is, a town has been taking saltwater and getting fresh water from it, so now they have a whole lot of salt left behind from extracting it. They have nothing to do with the salt, so they throw all this salt back into the ocean.

My mom argues that this would effect the ocean greatly (or at least around this town) and that it would be "polluting the ocean"

I argue that it is not pollution to the ocean..

Who's right? What would be effected? The ecosystem? Anything? Polluting? Eh?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The water cycle of the planet does a pretty good job of evening things out. With 70% of the planet's surface covered in water, it is simply not possible (not now, at least) for us to take enough water out of the oceans to have any noticable effect on the global ecosystem.

    That said, dumping a lot of salt can cause the salinity of the immediate region to increase, but it won't have global repercussions.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think the salt we eat is the same salt in the ocean. I think the salt in the ocean is from minerals or something like that. I do know that if the freshwater/ saltwater ratio is altered it can change the ecosystem in some way. It can effect the weather and the life that lives in the ocean. If the salt level gets really high I'm sure it is not good for the fish and other animals that use the water. So I think your Mama is right

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  • 1 decade ago

    Depositing large quantities of salt into the ocean at one location could have a significant effect on the local ecosystem, depending on how well the ocean currents at that location tend to circulate the water. When the salt water is removed from the ocean to be processed, water and salt are removed in a proportion equal to their natural occurence. The fresh water eventually returns to the sea, but gradually and over a wide area. Dumping the salt all at once, on the other hand, could measurably increase the salinity and have a harmful influence on sea life. After all, the Dead Sea is known by that name because the water is too salty to support most aquatic life.

    By the way, this question is not very realistic. Salt is an extremely useful substance, and the town would definitely be able to find a wide array of uses for it.

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  • Joan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Hi, I found that the salt water is a bit drying on the skin, but usually when I go swimming it's quite hot, so it's probably the effect of being in the sun as well. The salt in the water apparently is good for the skin, but I think it depends on how clean your beach or pool is. Some beaches are close to dirty or industrial areas, so pollution is the problem here. The best thing to do is not stay in the sun too long, and to have plenty of vegetables, omega 3 oils, and drink lots of water in the diet for good looking skin!

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  • 1 decade ago

    They would be polluting the immediate area because of the high concentration of salt.

    Desalinization plants these days ship the salt out to places that need salt for icy roads or to be refined for food or chemistry. Salting the roads is really bad too because when it washes away it washes down into rivers and the ocean and makes it a lot more salty. Plus it rusts out your cars and kills plants.

    A little bit is good but too much is bad. Just like none is bad. This works for just about everything.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Really you're just taking water out, not adding any salt, though you're still increasing the salt's concentration. As long as that's all, you're doing, the amount of water even a major city consumes is totally negligible to the size of the ocean. BTW, I'm pretty sure they could sell the salt, whether it be for food or for icy driveways.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, the salt came from the ocean... so how can putting it back into the ocean hurt?

    I don't think it would matter because the amount of salt you would put back into the ocean would barely raise the salinity of the ocean (even in a localized area).

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If it's only one town, then it wouldn't be enough salt to effect the oceans salinity.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the cause of what ever the eco system problems we r facing 2day had a defenite start in the past. The time component may vary for different problems. But it started at one point. For example, let us take the green house effect. we know that CFC is one of the major reason for the same. The emmission of CFCs from our electrical appliances is responsible for this. But when ppl started using the appliances in the beginning, nobody ever bothered about this and even if somebody would've told this to them that time, he/she would've been ridiculed. As u r doing to ur mother. Do U get my point.

    LITTLE DROPS OF WATER ......

    cheers

    Source(s): THE ME IN ME
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  • 1 decade ago

    It would take an awful lot of salt to change the ecosystem, I doubt it would affect it too much.

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