Extinction of Marine Life – Causes

marine life extinctionThe latest studies and research show that the world’s ocean is at the verge of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history. The research has further concluded that the speed and rate of degeneration in the ocean is far faster than anyone has predicted.

Many of the negative impacts previously identified are greater than the worst predictions.

Every species, either small or large, play a vital role in maintaining a well balanced ecosystem. Hence the loss of any species can be detrimental to the ecosystem.

Various studies show that regional ecosystems such as estuaries, coral reefs, and coastal and oceanic fish communities are undergoing rapid losses whether in individuals or whole species.

It is quite apparent that human activity has greatly contributed to species extinction. A major factor for aquatic species extinction is killing by humans for reasons such as food, recreation and many more. Habitat destruction which includes biological, physical and chemical factors is also largely responsible for the extinction of aquatic species. Here are some examples habitat destruction:

Physical Alterations:

  • Trawl fishing
  • Commercial development and construction
  • Structures for water diversion
  • Coastal engineering

Chemical Alterations:

  • Ocean acidification
  • Organic waste
  • High concentration of heavy metals
  • Plastics and particles

Climate change such as global warming has increased local water temperatures beyond the suitable range of many species. Such changes have led to alterations in the food web which in turn have made productive areas such as welling regions less productive. Scientists also suggest that pollutants including flame retardant chemicals and synthetic musks are being traced in the Polar Seas, and that these chemicals can be absorbed by tiny particles in the ocean which are in turn ingested by marine creatures.

Species extinction is causing disturbance in marine species biodiversity. An important approach to protect marine ecosystems is Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that are established in order to protect the richness of marine life and the environment. Species extinction can be avoided through integrated control and maintenance of habitats. Crucial habitats can be maintained by limiting physical activities such as fishing and coastal construction.

Bad Weather – A Consequence of Global Warming

bad weather global warmingThe last 20 years have produced many more severe weather events than any other time period since record-keeping began in 1880.

Often we hear and read reports around the world announcing the “hottest summer ever” or the “worst fires ever”.

The climate of the planet Earth is changing rapidly. Credit of these weather changes goes to global warming to an extent, caused by the ungoverned release of large amount of carbon into the atmosphere.

Global warming is making days hotter, natural disasters such as hurricanes stronger and droughts more severe. It is also causing drastic changes to the landscape of the world posing threat to wildlife species and their habitat. Rain is falling in heavy downpours as a result of global warming.

One can witness longer dry periods between rainfalls. Wet places have become wetter while dry places have become drier. The intensity and frequency of heat waves has increased. This is all a result of global warming.

Global warming causes warmer water in the oceans that pumps more energy into tropical storms making them stronger and potentially more destructive. Category 4 and 5 storms have greatly increased over the past 35 years, along with ocean temperature. Warmer temperatures caused by global warming increase the probability of drought. Increased evaporation during summer makes drought conditions worse and also increases the risk of wildfires.

The warmer temperatures also add to the energy of the climatic system and lead to heavier rainfalls in some areas. Scientists believe that climate change will increase the frequency of heavy rainstorms. This will lead many communities at risk of devastation from floods. National annual precipitation has increased between 5 and 10 percent since the early 20th century.

If severe steps are not taken to control global warming now, the world will witness undesirable results and more severe weather conditions. If we go on contributing to the problem and refuse to solve it, then the drastic effects of climate change are not only predictable but inevitable.

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Plastic to Save Environment

recycling plasticPlastic bags are potential threats to nature because of their non-degradable nature. What makes me said is the fact that despite being aware of their negative impact on environment, people tend to use frequently, ignoring their responsibilities towards Mother Nature.

I believe that reducing, reusing and recycling plastic is one of the several judicious ways to protect Mother Nature. These steps are simple and they can help reduce waste and make the environment cleaner.

We can encourage people to resort to environment friendly practices by educating them on benefits of using recyclable bags.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the three simple steps that are sure to reduce the negative effect of plastic usage to a great extent. It is totally up to us to judge if we really need a plastic bag for carrying a small candy packet or similar items. If that is the case, you always have the option to decline using plastic for our daily chores.

We can considerably bring down the usage of plastic by reusing it. If we make it the habit of people to recycle the products, it will benefit us all. Moreover, it is not necessary to get a new plastic bag every time you need one. Using the old one means you will require less, thus bringing down the demand. Last but not the least, recycle. Next time you go to a grocer or retailer, remember to return those shopping bags, bread bags and dry cleaning bags etc.

Here are some advantages of recycling that will help you make up your mind for going green:

1. Recycling is a process of converting used materials in to new products that can be used again. It helps conserve important raw material.
2. Recycling of products uses less energy than required in manufacturing of new products altogether.
3. Elimination of extraction and refining process lowers air and water pollution. It also reduces emission of greenhouse gases.

The Health Impact of Cockroaches

A species of cockroach Periplaneta japonica discovered for the first time in United States and identified in Manhattan can not only survive in the warm indoors but also in freezing temperatures of the outdoor.

This is a result of the high reproductive rates of the roaches that will spread diseases and cause allergies that will trigger asthma. There are about 4,000 different named species of cockroaches in the world.

The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins that are known to trigger allergies and increase the intensity of asthma symptoms, especially in children. They can spread 33 kinds of bacteria, 6 kinds of parasitic worms and 7 other human pathogens. They pick all kinds of germs on the spines of their legs from bathroom floors, rodent nesting areas and sewage.

In a recent study of 937 children of seven cities, allergens from common cockroaches caused more serious reactions in children with asthma than the dust mite, dog and cat allergens.

There are a number of pesticides used widely to control and kill the cockroaches. However, care must be taken to avoid residential exposure to pesticides as these chemicals are hazardous for health. Many of these pesticides trigger asthma attacks and cause developmental disabilities.

Pesticide sprays should not be used to control a pest problem. Baits and boric acid are safer and more preferable forms of treatment and also limit the level of human exposure to pesticides.

People can extenuate cockroach problems and protect their health, home and family in following a few measures.

  • Don’t allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink for a long time.
  • Remove garbage from the home on a routine basis and vacuum regularly.
  • Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving food open.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in walls, floors and openings to prevent pest entryways. Also, check for seal gaps around plumbing, wall outlets, and switch plates.

Following these preventive measures will not only prevent the entry of cockroaches but also lead to a hygienic and healthy life.

Use Biodiesel for a Sustainable Future

Biodiesel CycleI have a question to everyone – Is relying on coal and oil for power justifiable? The answer from my side is a big NO for the reason that both fuels release greenhouse gases when burned. Both require extensive and sometimes dangerous collection methods.

Coal as well as oil are non-renewable and take millions of years to generate. There are a number of countries around the world that are trying to reduce the consumption of coal and oil by using biofuel as an alternative. I suggest the use of biodiesel that will surely help in saving Mother Nature.

Biodiesel, a biofuel, is an alternative fuel made from vegetable oils to replace petroleum products and reduce the dependence on oil and help the environment. It is a clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel.

Let us take a look at the benefits of using biodiesel instead of petroleum diesel.

  • Burning biodiesel reduces the amount of pollutants as compared to diesel fuels made from oil. They burn cleaner releasing lesser particles in the air which form smog. There is also a reduced production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
  • Biodiesel is a renewable resource and can be produced domestically from animal fat, vegetable oil or used cooking oil. The crops used to produce this oil, such as soybeans and rapeseed, are found all over the world and can be replanted season after season. They will never run out.
  • Also, it is biodegradable as well as non-toxic which means if it is accidentally released into the environment by a spill or other incidents, it poses no problems. It will simply be broken down like any other organic matter and won’t pollute streams and rivers, ground water, or the soil.

Using biodiesel is one of the best choices that we can make to help our Mother Nature. One thing we must never forget is that there are many more generations to come and we cannot lead to a better future if we don’t take care of the environment.