Biomes


Largest geographic biotic unit, a major community of plants and animals with similar requirements of environmental conditions. It includes various communities and developmental stages of communities and is named for the dominant type of vegetation, such as grassland or coniferous forest. Several similar biomes constitute a biome type; for example, the temperate deciduous forest biome type includes the deciduous forest biomes of Asia, Europe, and North America. The standard European term for biome is "major life zone."


Ecosystems


An ecosystem is generally an area within the natural environment in which physical (abiotic) factors of the environment, such as rocks and soil, function together along with interdependent (biotic) organism, such as plants and animals, within the same habitat to create a stable system. Ecosystems can be permanent or temporary. Ecosystems usually form a number of food webs.Ecosystem is a functional unit consisting of living things in a given area, non-living chemical and physical factors of their environment, linked together through nutrient cycle and energy flow.

Energy flow in Ecosystems


Because of the oil spill biodegradation can also be a problem. Since producers aren’t or may not be able to “produce” due to the oil in the air or in the water and consumers wont be able to “consume” properly because they might end up dying off. Decomposers can also have major problems changing wastes and dead organisms into usable nutrients especially in the water due to the oil. And because of this food webs can also be affected.
Ecological pyramid

There is energy that is available for every trophic level and when one is affected or harmed then there wont be a next one. This relates to the oil spill, because the oil spill has harmed many organisms. With little vegetation the ecosystem cannot support many organisms.


Nutrient cycles

The cycles are carbon cycle,nitrogen cycle,and phosphorus cycle. Photosynthesis is an important process in which carbon through ecosystems.
Photosynthesis a chemical reaction that converts solar energy into chemical energy. This relates to the oil spill because the plants aren't getting the light to grow because the oil is covering the plants from getting sunlight. This will also affect the animals who eat these plants.



Effects of Bioaccumulation on Ecosystems



The oil spill will cause damage to the natural processes of the earth as well. Some of these processes include bioaccumulation, biomagnifications, and bioremediation. Bioaccumulation is the gradual build-up of chemicals in organisms which in this case could be oil. Chemicals or oil can enter an organism through food intake, skin contact, or respiration. If the intake of chemical (oil) is to much it can be harmful to the organism. So since there is so much oil in the water and some moving on land both terrestrial and aquatic organisms can be affected. But, mostly aquatic since that is the main source for were the oil is located. Biomagnification is the process in which chemicals not only accumulate but become more concentrated at each trophic level. Since the organisms in the lower trophic levels will be affected more then others because they are consuming most of the contaminated food. This leading to keystone species. These are very important species that can affect entire population and the health of an ecosystem. So, if even one of these species dies off the entire ecosystem can suffer. This moves into bioremediation which is the process in which micro-organisms or plants help clean them up. But if these organisms are being affected by the oil spill then bioremediation cannot take place. Meaning that the oil will remain as it is until, human efforts are made to get rid of it.

How humans influence ecosystem


Due to the oil spill many habitats will be lost. Since the oil spill Is a human accident the animals and other organisms are being put to suffer since they themselves cannot completely clean up the mess. Humans use much of the resources of the world sometimes even over using them. Such as land use, and deforestation. These two are major problems the humans put themselves and other organisms in.


How introduced species affect ecosystem

The oil spill can also affect native species which are the species that originally or naturally inhabit an area. Because of the spill many new things may be introduced into the ecosystems of the Gulf, to clean up the spill, which can subsequently become introduced invasive species. Since they are able to completely change an ecosystem. These new introduced species can put an end to the native species of the area.


How Changes Occur Naturally in Ecosystems

Adaptive radiation is the change from a common ancestor into a number of different species that "radiate out" to inhabit different niches. This relates to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, because in the ocean there could be species that were developed from a single species and if its harmed then there wont be anymore.


Contamination is very harmful to living things, because of the oil spill lots of living things have been contaminated. Overexploitation is the use or extaction of a resource until it is depleted which can result in extinction. Extiction is the dying out of a species. This oil spill can cause extinction because many animals and plants have died. The oil spill has also caused habitat loss, habitat loss refers to the destruction of habitats,which usually results from human activities. The oil spill can destroy a habitat and without it, it cant support the original species that lived there.



Bibliography:
Science 10 BC text book
Wikipedia.com

From this project i have so much about the oil spill on gulf of mexico and a little on how our ecosystem works.

CLIMATE EFFECTS OF VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS


THE OZONE, GREENHOUSE, AND HAZE EFFECTS

There is considerable debate on the role that humans play in changing global climate through both the burning of fossil fuels and the release of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases. Some argue that human interaction poses less of a threat to our atmosphere than do natural processes, like volcanic eruptions. This places a great deal of importance on understanding the role of volcanic eruptions in affecting global climate change. Whatever the source, it is apparent that compositional changes in the earth's atmosphere generate three principal climatic effects and they are ozone effect, greenhouse effect, and haze effect.

THE OZONE EFFECT

Intense sunlight in the stratosphere above 12 km produces bluish colored ozone (O3) by naturally breaking down normal oxygen molecules (O2) into two highly reactive oxygen atoms (O). Each oxygen atom then quickly bonds with an oxygen molecule to form ozone. Ozone absorbs UV radiation, and in the process ozone is changed back into an oxygen molecule and an oxygen atom. A balance exists in ozone destruction and production, so that a balance concentration exists in the stratosphere. This balance has probably existed throughout much of geologic time. Recently, however, an ozone hole has been detected in the stratosphere over Antarctica, presumably due to the atmospheric build up of ozone-destroying CFCs by humans. Ozone depletion has resulted in a greater penetration of ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface, which is harmful to life on earth because it damages cellular DNA. The ozone effect does not appear to have a direct influence on global temperatures.


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Ozone hole -- The region in blue is the hole of ozone depletion, which extended to a record 10.5 million square miles on Sept 19,1998. The previous record of 10.0 million square miles was set in 1996. The Antarctic "ozone hole" develops each year between late August and early October. Regions with higher levels of ozone are shown in red. Courtesy of NASA.

The Greenhouse gases

Certain gases, called greenhouse gases primarily carbon dioxide and water vapor; but also methane, N2O, and CFCs. The greenhouse gases allow short wavelength radiation from the sun UV rays to penetrate through the lower atmosphere to the earth's surface. These same gases, however, absorb long wavelength radiation which is infrared. This is the energy that earth reradiates back into space. The trapping of this infrared heat energy by these greenhouse gases results in global warming. Global warming has been evident since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Most scientists features global warming to be one f the effect of the release of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels.



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NOAA South Pole Station -- The Clean Air Facility, on the far left of the photo, is used primarily for atmospheric sampling. Air samples are analyzed for greenhouse gas content. Courtesy of NOAA.



THE HAZE EFFECT

Suspended particles, such as dust and ash from a volcano or any other object, can block out the earth's sunlight, thus reducing solar radiation and lowering global temperatures. The haze effect often generates exceptionally red sunsets due to the scattering of red wavelengths by very very little size particles in the stratosphere and upper troposphere.




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Pacific sunset through haze. Courtesy of NOAA.