© 2022Thermal effluents from coastal nuclear power plants have led to undesirable pollution and subsequent ecological impacts on local marine ecosystems. However, despite the ecological importance, we know little about the impacts on functionality of bacterioplankton subjected in systems with long-term thermal pollution. We used metagenomic sequencing to study of the effect of thermal pollution on bacterioplankton community metagenomics in summer in a subtropical bay located on the northern coast of the South China Sea. Thermal pollution (>15 y), which resulted in an increase in the summer seawater temperature around 8°C and caused seawater temperature up to approximate 39°C, significantly decreased bacterioplankton metabolic potentials in photosynthesis, organic carbon synthesis, and energy production. The bacterioplankton community metagenomics underwent a significant change in its structure from Synechococcus-dominant autotrophy to Alteromonas, Vibrio, and Pseudoalteromonas-dominated heterotrophy, and significantly up-regulated genes involved in organic compound degradation and dissimilatory nitrate reduction for the matter and energy acquisition under thermal pollution. Moreover, the bacterioplankton community metagenomics showed an up-regulation with heating of genes involved in DNA repair systems, heat shock responsive chaperones and proteins, and proteins involved in other biological processes, such as biofilm formation and the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and glycan, to adapt to the thermal environment. Collectively, it indicates a functional regulation of bacterioplankton adaptation to high-temperature stress, which might advance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of community adaptation to global extreme warming in aquatic ecosystems.