Dilinie Perera
Block F
June 2 - 10, 2010

Final Project; Unit 1 – 3 on the Gulf of Mexico

Throughout the world we have ecosystems. All of them inter connected right down to their microscopic organisms. So it’s not hard to believe the smallest of changes can cause an ecosystem to become very different in order to survive. But what if a major change occurs? Will the ecosystem be able to cope? Or will it not be able to cope at all? These are some of the question I asked when I heard about the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
The area around the Gulf of Mexico has a tropical rainforest biome and a desert biome. But the oil spill happened by the rainforest area so it’s even more dangerous because this ecosystem is a lot more intricate. There’s also the aquatic biome to think about, since it the one most effected by the oil. Right now, the oil is being spread by the ocean currents.
The oil is poisonous and deadly to the creatures it comes in to contact with. It has become these glob clusters that trap fish eating birds in their clutches. Weighing them down to the point where they can’t even walk a couple of feet let alone fly. Not only that, it also blocks the sunlight for the plants and animals in the water and creates a barrier between the terrestrial biome and the aquatic one. There are some animals that get their prey from the ocean. Seagulls for instants eat crustaceans and small fish. But now, because of the oil spill, their food supply is dying and if they do try to catch fish they risk getting caught in the oily mess. The symbiosis that occurs between the terrestrial organisms and the aquatic has been completely disrupted because of the spill.
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The biggest problem caused by the oil is how it has royal messed up the food web of the area. Like I said before, the oil is creating a barrier between water and land. The small organisms die because of the oil. The fish can eat the small organisms so they move or die. The bird can’t get the fish because there are less than before, so they move or starve. And what happens when we have all these extra dead birds? Will the decomposers cause a spike in population for a species of plant? Will it make a bad situation worse by attract an unwanted pest? I don’t know. What I do know is that a couple years down the road, when everything is all cleaned up, we’re going to realize we’ve got a whole new problem on our hands. And it’ll be all thanks to the oil spill.
We have all seen the crazy weather we’ve been having lately due to pollution. Most of that pollution was carbon, lots and lot of carbon. We’ve already cause so must damage because of the oil we use. But now, there is even more carbon because of the oil spill; huge sticky blobs of it that span for hundreds of mile of coastline.
That’s not even the worst part. The worst is when it bioaccumulates and then biomagnifies. When the really small organisms eat the oil particles and don’t die the oil particles start to bioaccumulate. When the organisms are eaten by a bigger organism the oil particles start to biomagnify within the organism. The bigger organism will then have to deal with not only the oil it is already exposed to but the amount it ingested as well.
Scientists are trying to fix this catastrophe in the making, but they still can’t fix the problem, the leak. That spew of oil is so strong it is eroding the pipe it’s leaking from and causing new leaks to form. While they try to close the leak(s), they also have to find a way to clean up and contain the oil. One way I`m sure they`re thinking of is bioremediation. It`s a less damaging way to get rid of the oil, rather than dumping a bunch of chemical dispersants into the ocean. But there are down falls to this method. What will the introduced species is done with the oil? Will that foreign species become an invasive one and start attacking the natural wildlife? We don’t know. All we can do is try it and hope for the best.
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The world and its ecosystems are ever changing. Though the biggest changes are at the fault of humans, there are natural occurring changes. Unfortunately, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by human error. There is no way Mother Nature could do this by herself, which is why it is up to us to fix this. As humans, we are known to be very good at messing up the environment. But if we can change our ways and prove we can learn from our mistakes, there just might be hope for the planet yet.

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1) Lionel Sandner, Glen Fatkin, Donald Lacy, Josef Martha, James Milross and Karen Naso. BC Science 10. Whitby: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2008
2) European Space Agency’s Envisat Monitor Oil Spill. **European Space Agency**. 3 June 2010. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427111250.htm>
3) The Worst-Case Scenario. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010. 10 June 2010.

"I Hate the Wikispaces. I don't mind writing something on Microsoft Word and e-mailing it. But, I Hate the wikis. Thery're just too unreliable and too glitchy."


"What changeIs can society make in order to deal with the problems associated with climate change?"

Climate Change and All Humanity

Living in surrey we know regular B.C. weather, wet and cold. However recently the weather has become wild. Heat waves in middle of winter, blizzards at the end of spring. These are some of the things that have been predicted by people concerned with Climate Change.
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Well, that’s great and all, but so what? Why should we care if the temperature is higher than it uses to be? What difference does it make to us? Actually, it makes a lot of difference. In fact “during the past 100 years, the world's surface air temperature increased an average of 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F)”. (1). This may not seem like a big deal, but even a degree of difference in can cause changes on Earth. Some of the changes include: a rise in sea level, heavy rains or extreme droughts, and hurricanes that are stronger and more frequent than in the past. These changes may seem bad now, but I can almost guarantee that this is only the beginning. If we don’t do anything, our lovely blue planet will turn into a bigger version of Mars. Which is why we must act!
But what can we do? The most difficult part of is question is deciding where to start. Once you figure that out, the rest is just willpower. As for what you can do, let talk about the obvious… RECYCLE!!! Pure and simple. Recycle everything you can. Or better yet, don’t use items that you will need to dispose of late if you can help it. Such as the two things that are most often found in landfills, plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles. Why most people won’t do even that is beyond me. I mean, is it so hard to buy a metal water bottle and take an extra five minutes everyday to fill it. From my point of view, no. From everyone else’s point of view, I don’t know.
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Is the government doing anything to stop Climate Change? From what I’ve seen on the news, I think they are. Either that or they’re making a very good show of it. And that saying a lot coming from a Drama geek. Anyway, some examples of the governments effort to combat Climate Change are: making more bicycle lanes, enforcing regulations that promote “green” thinking, and taking actions against polluters, poachers, et cetera.
We can’t continue on like this. We can no longer turn a blind eye. We need to do our part for the environment. We ALL need to do our part. Otherwise, one day, we won’t be able to fix the damage we’ve done. We will be swept away in the current of our so called “progress” leading to our own demise. So do what ever you can, no matter how little. Because you may never get another chance.


(1) Effects of Climate Change Today


(2) Ways to Help the Environment


(3) Environmental Canada - Environmental Canada’s Home Page