National Geographic has a list of 10 things which each and everyone of us can adapt and which will help in saving our oceans!You can read the deatiled list HERE A pictorial representation of the tips is below 🙂
1. Mind our Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption
2. Make Sustainable Educated Seafood Choices
3. Use Fewer Plastic Products
4. Help keep Beaches Clean, the trash on the beach invariably makes it to the Ocean
5. Don’t purchase products that exploit Marine Life.
6. Be An Ocean Friendly Pet owner – choosing pet food and litter responsibly. Also being aware of what fish to buy for your aquarium.
7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean
8. Influence Change in Your Community. VOTE – GREEN
9. Travel the Ocean Responsibly
10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants.
Check out this Video from the BBC about the threat faced by the shallow waters and the Coral Reefs:
It has been reported by news media that the oil slick spreading from the Deepwater Horizon disaster threatens fisheries, tourism and the habitat of hundreds of bird species who come ashore every year to breed. We thought it would be interesting to see what kind of impact species other than humans are having due to the oil spill.
CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR PICTURES OF BIRDS AFFECTED BY THE OIL SPILL
Coral Reefs – Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species, they are called the tropical rain forests of the sea. However, the tiny colonial animals that build these intricate limestone masses are dying at alarming rates. Scientists in the early 2000 declared that if this trend continued, in 20 years the living corals on many of the world’s reefs will be dead and the ecosystems that depend on them severely damaged. I was wondering whether we had coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and as per the US Geological survey there are at least 2 substantial reefs in the gulf Flower garden banks and the Florida reef tract (check the image below).
Studies have shown that the dispersants and dispersed oil droplets are significantly more toxic to the coral than the crude oil itself, the scientists report. The dispersants caused “significant harm,” including rapid, widespread death and delay in growth rates, to the coral colonies. Read more about it in detail here
Microbes in the water can break down oil. The number of microbes that grow in response to the more concentrated BP spill could tip that system out of balance, says LSU oceanographer Mark Benfield. Too many microbes in the sea could suck oxygen from the water, creating an uninhabitable hypoxic area, or “dead zone.”
Birds and animals that live on the shore. Check out the link for the listof endangered species which calls the Gulf of Mexico and its shores their home. The plants on the shores will all be dead if oil reaches the shore and seeps into the soil. The nesting grounds of thousands of birds and amphibians. Louisiana’s state bird the Brown Pelican is threatened too as it’s nesting areas and food has been contaminated after having made a comeback in the last couple of years after the hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on their environment.
Ocean dwellers – The birds and the turtles we see, we also see the shores and the plants being affected, but 5000 feet deep under the ocean lies a world away from our eyes inhabited by sperm whales and planktons. From the planktons to fishes and mammals the variety of life in the ocean is very diverse. If one of them is affected by the oil it can affect the whole food chain. Schools of Minnows are already seen swimming just below the oil in many places, scientists are pretty sure they are doomed. Birds which prey on those fish too are susceptible to the toxins from the fishes. An e.g.: for a fish would be the Small-tooth saw fish used to have a wide habitat but are now concentrated off Florida’s southwest coast. “Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that,” said Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist.
One main story which could become the poster boy sort of for The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Environmental impact is the Giant Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna which has been over-fished for years and the spill added to its woes. The Gulf of Mexico is where the Blue Fin comes to spawn; nurseries of the beautiful fish call the gulf its home. It is in dire need of help, Imagine a fish with a reproductive strategy where it has to grow from a tiny egg to a 225 lb fish, and than once mature, it goes to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico for 4-6 weeks. If that’s your evolutionary strategy for reproduction, you’d better hope that your spawning ground is just like you left it the year before- warm and clean. The rest of the year the giant Blue fin swims the entire North Atlantic ranging from frigid seas off the Maritimes of Canada to Iceland, from the Azores to the shores of North Carolina. Read more here.The spawning grounds of many of these marine organisms are now being drenched in oil, the effects of which won’t be known for some time.
Recent discoveries of endangered sea turtles soaked in oil and 22 dolphins found dead in the spill zone only hint at the scope of a potential calamity that could last years and unravel the Gulf’s food web.
To know the impact and extent of damage we will need to wait for the oil spill to be contained and the maximum amount of oil cleaned… Hoping for some good news soon from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill…
Below is a list of the endangered species which call the Gulf their home. Courtesy of the NOAA
US exempted BP’s Gulf of Mexico Drilling from an Environmental study! Read the full article here
Well if I was asked to name the top 10 nations ruining the world, my list would be wrong. I was reading about a study done by University of Adelaide’s Environmental Institute in Australia in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and the Princeton University. It listed the top 10 countries who were crating the most environmental impact. The study found that the total wealth of a country was the most important driver of environmental impact. There is a general theory that when nations get richer the use of better technology reduces impact on environment, which is refuted here. The study evaluates the relative environmental Impact of countries using 7 indicators of environmental degradation:
Natural Forest Loss
Existing rankings also took into account human health and economic data, where as this study focuses solely on Environmental impact. Other country specific variables were also excluded e.g. Illegal fishing, some patterns of Greenhouse gas emission, sea grass loss, coral habitat loss, bush meat harvest etc… The study has listed 2 rankings a “proportional” environmental impact ranking – environmental impact measured against total resource availability (human population size, gross national income and governance quality) and an “absolute” environmental impact ranking measuring total environmental degradation at a global scale. These are the top ten worst offending countries for absolute environmental impact, those that are just doing the most damage, regardless of per capita calculations.
Brazil – In the 7 categories Brazil ranked in the top 10 of all but Marine Capture. 1st place for natural forest loss, 3rd place for natural habitat conversion, 3rd place for fertilizer use, 4th place for threatened species, 4th place for CO2 emissions, and 8th place for water pollution.
USA – One would think with the resources and smarts the country has it would be ranked better than a number 2, but no. Except for natural Habitat Conversion where it ranked a very respectable 211, the rest of the list reads like this – Ringing in at 1st place for fertilizer use, The USA also ranks in 1st place for CO2 emissions, 2nd place for water pollution, 3rd place for marine captures, and 9th place for threatened species.
China – It has the 1st place in water pollution (20 million people without access to clean water), 1st place for marine capture. Add to that 2nd place for CO2 emissions and 6th place for threatened species, and we can see how China takes the bronze for most environmental impact.
Indonesia – Indonesia ranks 2nd in natural forest loss, which probably has some to so with their taking 3rd place for threatened species. Indonesia is ranked 3rd for CO2 emissions, 6th for marine capture, 6th for fertilizer use, and 7th for water pollution.
Japan – Japan ranks 4th for marine capture, 5th for both natural habitat conversion and water pollution, and 6th for CO2 emissions.
Mexico – 5th for both natural habitat conversion and water pollution, and 6th for CO2 emissions.
India – India is 2nd place for environmental impact due to fertilizer use. India comes in 8th for another three areas: threatened species, marine capture and CO2 emissions.
Russia – Russia in 4th place for worst water pollution. Russia ranks 5th in worst CO2 emissions–air quality is almost as poor as water quality, with over 200 cities often exceeding Russian pollution limits. The country ranks 7th for marine capture.
Australia – About 11.5 percent of the total land area of Australia is protected, which leaves a lot left over for unbridled usage, which is how the country ranks 7th worst in habitat conversion. It also ranks 9th for fertilizer use, and 10th for natural forest loss.
Peru – Peru ranks 2nd for marine capture and 7th for threatened species.
If you live in any of these nations Wake up think about how you can make a change today.