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The electrical conductivity of a thin multidirectional carbon fiber reinforced composite laminates can be expressed by an equivalent symmetric second order tensor. Any change of the microstructure of the composite laminate due to an interlaminar damage locally changes the electrical conductivity tensor of the medium. Applying electric potential difference, the temperature of the medium rises, due to the Joule effect. In the presence of interlaminar damage, the developed temperature field changes locally. Following the coupled electrical/thermal solution of the problem, the mechanism of the phenomenon is elucidated and validated against experimental results by comparing the measured to calculated temperature field.