Todd Hausch
Block F, Science 10

Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico effects

Unit one: Chapter 1- Biomes and ecosystems are divisions of the bioshere.


Introduction

Unlike regular oil spills like oil tankers leaking into the ocean this problem can not stop for at least a while. Around 800 000 litres of oil from this leak is being poured out each day from a broken well in the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the world's top minds can't figure out the solution to this leak. So they have started to turn to regular citizens for a conclusion to this mess. Oil that has already been leaked out is trying to be contained by workers pumping the oil into a tanker on the Gulf of Mexico.
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Chapter 1.1 Biomes
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The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has mainly harmed the aquatic biome, which the gulf of Mexco is mainly a salt water biome. The aquatic biome is also the most diversed biome in the world. The oil spill has is now reached the shoreline effecting surrounding biomes like the tropical rainforest which is very hot and wet, and some of the desert biome which is hot and dry. Not just that but the oil is an abiotic (non living) component and is hurting biotic (living) organisms within those biomes.
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Chapter 1.2 Ecosystems


Due to the oil in the Gulf of Mexico the animals in the biomes there are not adapted properly to the disaster. Some of the animals in this problem are marine mammals, turtles, and sharks. The animal I would like to focus on is the Louisisana state bird brown pelican. These birds live and feed near the shore, and not just that but these birds dive into the water to catch prey leaving it vulnerable to the toxic waters from the oil. Another thing about the brown pelicans is that just a little while ago these birds were taken off the endangered species list but this oil spill may make that a brief celebration.
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Chapter 2.1 Energy flow in ecosystems

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is something that is too big to leave to biodegradation . Especially since the problem is growing every day. The primary producers in the gulf are helping though because these organisms hunger for things like oil and as they feed on the oil their population increases. But energy flow from these primary producers is ot good for higher trophic level animals because oil consumption is not healthy for mostly all organisms. So as the primary producers thrive the consumers do not.
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Chapter 2.2 Nutrient Cycles in Ecosystems

Oil is made up of about 85% carbon and if it stays in the gulf it will end up ruining the balance of carbon cycles.Changes in the carbon cycle contribute to climate change. Changes in weather may have serious effects on biodiversity if some plants and animals can no longer survive in their changed habitats. Carbon stores will grow to be a bigger number if the carbon in the oil is not contained. The carbon stores will be at the bottom of the sea for about 500 years in the form of dissolved carbon dioxide. These carbon stores will be used by bacteria and then finally be released. Another problem for the gulf in this chapter is that photosynthesis can not be used to its full potential. This is because oil floating above the plants will block sunlight which is the first step in the chemical reaction.
external image Carbon_Dioxide_CO2_biological_cycle.jpg
Chapter 2.3 Bioaccumulation

As pollutants such as oil in this case, are consumed by organisms bioaccumulation gets into effect. For example the plankton which has built up toxins from eating oil will be eaten by bigger animals like tuna which is then eaten by turtels, which is lastly eaten by a shark. As each trophic level consumes prey the oil from inside each organism will stay and build up with each meal. Bioaccumulation even passes onto offspring so surviving organisms after the oil spill will have to spread anything they may have earned disappointingly.
Chapter 3 Ecosystems continually change over timeexternal image bioaccumulation_graphic.jpg



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After this oil spill is contained, elements like carbon will still be around and because of that many organisms will have to learn to survive with it and adapt over time. But an oil spill is not a natural event like flooding, tsunamis, or drought. This is something we started and is our responsiblity to fix. We have also caused many other things like habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, deforestation, and many other things. Our effects on the world around us has lead us on the wrong path to overexploitation and extinction in the future. But right now a good word to show what we have done to the Gulf of Mexico is contamination. So far about 400 birds, 200 turtels, and 30 marine mammals have died in this devastation. Although introduced species is not a big problem, after the gulf is cleaned they may want to bring up the population of the animals by bring similar animals in from different places.

Conclusion

It is estimated that all of this will be wraped up between August and September which is better than nothing. Hopefully after this is all over there will be new oil drilling regulations and plans for future drilling will be better planed. Also I hope that BP has learned their lesson and wont try to do everything on cheap wages. But of course I hope most of all that the environments that the oil spill has effected will not change drastically.

Bibliography
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2078363 June 6 ( how bacteria helps the ocean)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill June 6 ( BP oil spill info)
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/the-americas/100428/oil-spills-endangered-species June 6 ( Animals that are affected)
http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/environment/Both-Old-and-New-Cutting-Edge-Technology-Used-in-Oil-Spill----92970759.html?commentSubmitted=y&field June 7 ( news on the oil spill)
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/06/04/bp-gulf-oil-spill.html June 7 ( news on the oil spill)
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100607-701554.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesAsia June 7 ( news on oil spill)
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/national-research-council-calls-for-climate-action/ June 7 ( human influence)


I think that wiki spaces is an easier way to stay connected to the class and provides a safe easy workspace from home or at school. It is also easy to use most of the time and is also allways good to see what others have made so you can compair and contrtast. Unlike writing emails here you can see what good examples are and its allways nice to see the outline of the project with just a click. The internet can expand your ideas so much more than whats written on paper.

What changes can​ society make in order to deal with the problems associated with climate change?

Going green dosn't mean it literally.

When it comes to the environment we should all take it seriously because like many others have said before "we only have one earth". The reason the environment and why we should care about it is such a big deal is because this is a problem that affects everyone who lives on earth. It's not like this is a problem for only some people, so dont think that someone else will fix it for you. Pollution has infected our ecosystems by creating harmful chemicals that are released and cause damage to organisms like plants and animals. There are also other forms of pollution that create climate change and that is what i am here to talk about. But over the years pollution has increased by a large majority thanks to things like manufacturing, utilities, oil, and vehicals. The definition of climate change is "a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods".
external image air_pollution_and_climate_change.gifexternal image climatepic.jpg

There are many things we can do as humans to help climate change. A good idea many people have done for a long time is to write a list about what they know and want themselves to take control of in their lives. For example here there are the basic three R's, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Those three words can go into many things like composting, riding a bike, depositing empty cans, volunteering, car pooling, cuting down on computer/ television time, and so much more. So much more that people like David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, and Al Gore have spent their lives helping nature and the environment. These people have shown that you don't have to wait for someone else in order to start helping the environment, these people decided what they wanted to do and took action, and this is how we should think. But making big changes in life to help the environment can be hard but who ever said life is easy, because it's not. So for people who can't make big changes there is always the option to make a small one like taking public transport or joining a group on Facebook that promotes the environment at least. There are also many forms of energy that can be produced cleanly or cleaner compared to greenhouse gases such as CO2 or nitrous oxide. But today some of the main producers of energy come from oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric and nuclear power , solar energy, tidal harnesses, wind generators, and geothermal sources but not all of these are environmently friendly.

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So who should we turn to when the environment is at harm other than ourselves? Our government and communities of course. Healthy communities are a very powerful thing to have because they can work together quickly and more effiicient than one person. Some strategies for communities that want to help can be to make sure they always keep their property and public property clean and safe. Not only that but they can also protest to unfair companies who use too much greenhouse gases.The government also does a few things to help our enviroment but it certainly can be said that more needs to be done. Some things that our government does is put money towards scientific pursuits that search for cleaner more effiicient energy. They also fund companies that compost or recycle certain goods and has. An example of the government helping the enviroment happened a little while ago when the olympics were in Vancouver the paid for the new buses that run on cleaner fules, they made a new skytrain route that goes to the airport from downtown saving emitions, and they also had a strict recycling rule.

This is an example of a great green community.

To wrap this up climate change so far has been so far a challenge for us as humans to stop because we have gotten so used to our daily routines. We use about two times too much of everything in our daily lives and as citizens we make up more than half of all carbon emitions, while still blaming companies and businesses. But looking at how hard companies and the government have been at work trying to ensure a safer future, there is not much to look down to later on. Car and transport manufactures for example have going green as one of their top priorities making hybrids, public transport, and electric over gas machines higher than ever. So why can't we all get that carbon footprint just a bit smaller each year so the damage we have started can be healed back to normal.

Some quick and easy to learn eco friendly tips.

Bibliography
http://www.electricityforum.com/generate-electricity.html April 26 (types of energy that are made)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change April 26 (What is climate change)
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/docs/community-action.pdf April 27 (Doccument about climate change)
http://wwf.panda.org/ April 27 ( Ideas to be environmentally friendly)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_footprint April 27 (What is a carbon footprint)
http://www.youtube.com/ April 25 (videos)