October 18, 2009

Prevent the Spread of Germs

Here's some amusing/informative YouTube videos:

Protect! Don't Infect!
Little Star

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change

I wanted to be part of the 10,000 or so blogs posting today (Blog Action Day 2009)...and I actually really care about climate change.

Climate Change: From a Scientific Point (or something like that) Regarding Water

With climate change, the temperatures of the oceans increase. Warm water fosters a good living condition for bacteria, microscopic organisms, and macroscopic organisms - some of which carry genes for dangerous diseases. For those who don't have proper filtration devices, drinking this water will cause them to become ill. For the larger organisms living in this water (read: fish), an increase in bacteria level will result in a decrease of oxygen and an increase in disease. These illnesses can pass through the food chain rapidly.

In addition, warmer waters leads to eutrophication - an increase in the productivity of an ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, results may range from an increase in plant life and living organisms to anoxia (total decrease in level of oxygen), water quality decreases severely, fish and other animal populations are reduced drastically.

What happens? Warmer waters lead to better growth for underwater plants. An increase in food source (the plants) leads to an increase in population. Two things can occur here: 1) the population level rises faster than the amount of food and the carrying capacity (how many organisms the area can support - enough oxygen, food, water, and shelter) of the body of water is exceeded (resulting in not enough food for all organisms --> starvation) and/or 2) the population level rises drastically, exceeds carrying capacity, many organisms die and the level of bacteria rises --> more bacteria = more oxygen being used to decompose the dying organisms. With the rise in bacteria, the oxygen supply decreases - the plants (which produce oxygen) are being eaten and the remaining oxygen is being converted in carbon dioxide by the bacteria. This leads to even more deaths of those organisms who remained.

The end result of eutrophication: drastic and lasting change to the ecosystem. Since every ecosystem requires oxygen, and most of the oxygen on Earth comes from the oceans, eutrophication affects everyone and everything.

So think quickly.
We can work together to save our oceans and other bodies of water (about 75% of the Earth and about 65% of the human body) now, today, tomorrow, and at Copenhagen 09...or we can face the consequences of eutrophication.

Think hard,
Little Star