Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
1.1 The Gulf of Mexico’s biome is salt water. The shores being affected are tropical rainforest, grassland and desert. The ecosystems have totally been disrupted. Organisms don’t even have the time to adapt to the changes. An adaptation usually takes a generation or two. The animals whole lives have been turned up side down. They have no way to survive something like this.
external image oil-spill.jpg

1.2 The abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystems are both being affected by the oil spill. The abiotic components (sunlight, water) are being affected because the sunlight can’t effectively get through the oil and the water is being heavily polluted. The biotic components (animals, plants, etc.) are dying off because they can’t take the oil and they are finding it difficult to move and get to food. For example, the plants can’t reach the sun, therefore the process of photosynthesis can’t take place.

2.1The primary producers in the gulf of mexico are dying off because the sunlight can't reach them through the oil. As a result the primary consumers have less food, and so on up the food chain. This is causing a lot of the animals to die off from starvation. Not to mention the ones dying off from being covered in oil, which makes them unable to move. The top layer of the water ecosystem are where the micro-algae, grass and little critters are, they basically drive the ecosystem. However that is also where the oil is. This causes two big concerns, the first if they die off, It would cause higher trophic levels to starve, or they could cause they other trophic levels to die off ingesting too much oil.

external image gulf%20oil%20spill1.jpg

2.2The carbon cycle is being affected greatly by the oil spill because there is a lot more carbon going in to the atmosphere and the biosphere, then there is going out, and into stores. If the carbon cycle is changed, life on earth will feel the severe consequences. The ozone layer would further thin and more radiation would be able to come in. Basically contributing to the greenhouse affect. Not to mention the increased amount of radiation, can cause cancer rates to go up. Ultimately the consequences of our actions are coming back unto us.

2.3The process of bio-accumulation will also take place, eventually ending up harming us. The small fish ingest oil they are harmed. However when the larger fish ingest the smaller fish, more oil is going into there bodies, in turn harming them more. If we happen to eat these oil filled fish we may be facing serious health concerns because of the chemicals BP uses. This chemical is Corexit 9500 which is known to rupture red blood cells when its ingested.

external image mexico_gulf.jpgx

3.1Eventually in coming years, the organisms in the affected area well probably undergo adaptive radiation. Fish stuck at the top near the surface of the water and the fish stuck near the bottom of the water, etc. will probably adapt to the changes. They really have no other choice if they want to survive. This is being forced on the organisms. Its not natural for them to change there way of living because of an oil spill. Again, humans are responsible for this.

3.2This is an example of resource exploitation that resulted in a lot of habitat loss. Thousands of sea creatures have lost here homes, because they are so covered in oil. BP exploited the oil and now should be punished. They should have to pay a fine, plus pay for all the clean up efforts. These animals now will be displaced, and will have to make there homes again somewhere else. Can you imagine having to move from all you have know to the other side of the country?

3.3Some species may be able to live and thrive in an ecosystem affected by oil. This will greatly disadvantage those species that are struggling to survive. They will have even less of a chance to restore themselves.

I did like using the wiki page for our projects because then we didn't have to worry about , printing it out, putting it on a poster, etc. I think it was quick, easy and saved a lot of time.

"Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill." The New York Times. 7 June 2010.

"Gulf of Mexico oil spill created environmental and political dilemmas." The Washington Post. 7 June 2010

"Oil from massive Gulf spill reaching LA coast." Msnbc. 7 June 2010.

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

There are a lot of changes one person can make in their lifestyle to help the environment and deal with climate change. For example, they can change the appliances and light bulbs in their house to energy efficient ones. They can car-pool and use public transit more often. They can also recycle.
Recycle There are a lot of different ways to recycle. People can recycle their paper and bottles. They can separate their garbage before they throw it out. They can even recycle their old appliances that they don’t want to use anymore. When a person recycles they reduce the amount of natural resources being used. For example, when you recycle paper it goes on to make more paper, which saves a tree. Saving a tree helps save another carbon sink from being another carbon source.bin.jpg

People can use reusable bags instead of plastic grocery bags to help the problem of garbage. Plastic bags do not bio degrade very fast, they take 10-20 years. Instead of using foam plates and glasses, they can use actual dishes. It reduces the amount of garbage going into land fills every year. There is also recycled paper that can be used. When we reuse we prevent another piece of garbage from going to a landfill. Landfills produce methane which in turn contributes to the green house effect.070508_reusable_bag.jpg

Alternate means of transportationWhen people car-pool, and/or use public transit they reduce the amount of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Which ultimately helps the greenhouse gases problem. People can also bike or walk which has no CO2 emission at all. It is also beneficial when you don;t have the money to spend on a car.city-bus-1.jpg
Energy efficient Another way is to use energy efficient light bulbs. They may cost more to purchase, but save you money in the long term. You should also use energy star appliances because they are energy efficient. Energy star qualified products reduce the amount of greenhouse gases going onto the atmosphere and pollution. They also reduce the amount of energy used in the household, which intern helps power another house and reduces your gas bills.EnergyStarLogo.jpg

The question is what is stopping people from doing so. People don’t want the hassle. Some ways the government can influence people to help deal with climate change is setting an example and doing so themselves. If people see influential people such as the prime minister of Canada, working hard to deal with the problem of climate change. They would be inspired to do so themselves.
For even more ways to help you can go to:http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/home.html

- “Energy Efficient Lighting.” Earth Easy. 22 april 2010. <http://www.eartheasy.com/live_energyeff_lighting.htm >
- “Climate Change: What You Can Do.” “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 22 April 2010. <http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/home.html>
- “The Harm of Landfills.” Enerlix. 22 April 2010. <http://www.enerlix.com/environmental-technology/report_404.htm>
- “How Long Does It Take For Trash To Biodegrade.” Funny statistics. 22 April 2010. <http://numericlife.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-long-does-it-take-for-trash-to.html>
- “ Recycle and Reuse to Reduce Climate Change.” ComFu. 22 April 2010 <http://www.comfu.org/index.php/groups/viewgroup/10Recycle+and+Reuse+to+reduce+Climate+Change>
- “How Recycling Helps Fight Climate Change.” Environmental Leader. 22 April 2010. <http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/03/23/how-recycling- helps-fight- climate-change/ >