Water pollution essay
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- Water Pollution Essay
- 1-Why do humans carry out these processes? Example why do humans...? What purpose does it serve and why has it led to...
- 2-What impact does this have on the planet? How are ecosystems/populations affected?
- 3-What steps can be taken to reduce the impact on our planet? Why do you think this would contribute to ecologically sustainable development.
- In this essay I will discuss water pollution, the effects it has on the human race, as well as the oceans inhabitants and also some possible solutions to the problems we face today.
- Almost all the ocean pollution starts on land and is caused by humans. CO2 emissions cause a lot of damage to our atmosphere. As we have seen over the past few years and especially this summer the weather has been rapidly increasing in temperature. This can affect different currents like the Mexican Gulf currents that goes all the way up to Norway and affects the weather and water temperature of Sweden. How the Gulf current works: The Gulf current works by transporting warm water from the equator to the poles and then cold water back from the poles. The warm water travels from the Caribbean Sea (The warmest ocean in the world) and up to the north. There the evaporation of water and the forming of sea ice increase the salinity in the water. Salty water has a higher density than regular non (or less) salty water, so the water with higher salinity sinks down into the ocean. Once the salty water has sunk it starts to travel back to the equator and once it finally reaches the equator it comes back up to the surface meaning that the salty water from the north is now in the caribbean.
- How it affects the world: CO2 causes global warming which can affect this (The Gulf Current) by heating the water surface and melting the ice caps, which will add fresh water to the current. This will make the water less salty and prevent it from sinking, thus altering the ocean currents. This has already started to happen. In 2016, during may, the melting ice on Greenland hit a record high of 23,600 square miles of ice daily. Which is a huge increase from the average 18,000 square miles per day. Marco Tedesco (A research professor at Lamont-Doherty specializing in Greenland) and his colleagues conducted a study on this. They suggest that:
- “A reduction in the temperature difference between the polar and temperate regions (the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet) pulled the jet stream air currents northwards. The warm moist air it carried hovered over Greenland, causing the record melting.” This means that global warming is affecting the wind following the Gulf current and altering it to a different place of the Earth. This is not good because it means that the ice caps will melt even faster than before. This will also hugely affect the animals living there since they are adapted to a specific temperature and extreme temperature change can cause those sea animals to die. This can also affect algae that are meant to live in a specific temperature. With water temperature changes, entire ecosystems can collapse and food chains won't be able to function since there will most likely be one or more parts of the chain missing. An example of this is because of the warmer weather, animals that wouldn't have been able to live there (in Greenland) previously are now able to. But these foreign sea animals can pose a big threat to the ´native´ sea animals already living there. Their population can decline almost to the point of collapse. This can also be a threat to fishers since there will be a shortage of said animal that they fish. This can have an economic consequence not only locally but in an extreme case, also globally. Examples of animals which are now more common on Greenland are: Blue mussels, blue finned tuna and killer whales. These animals can pose a huge threat to many of the animals living in Greenland, like the fish or seals.
- A way to fix the increasing amount of CO2 emissions is to introduce more/higher fees for non-electric powered vehicles making people refrain from traveling by them and/or buying them. Governments could also introduce “trängselskatt”, meaning that you have to pay a tax when driving through different places, which encourages the use of public transport and not to drive by yourself. (This works best if the public can see that the money is used to better public transportation).
- Acid rain can also have devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems. An example of this is the great barrier reef in Australia. Acid rain is caused when chemicals like sulphur dioxide (comes mostly from industry) or nitrogen dioxide (comes mostly from fossil fueled vehicles) are released into the air. These gases dissolve very high up with the moisture in the atmosphere where they'll forming more acidic substances that will fall as rain. When the acid rain gets concentrated in the water the water becomes more acidic. Life in oceans and land based water like streams, rivers and lakes are negatively affected by the acidity. Fish will die or become diseased and seaweed growth may also be affected. But maybe the most important one of them all is that the coral reefs will die through bleaching. The coral reefs, especially the great barrier reef, is home to millions of fish and other species. Many of the corals ecosystems will also be negatively affected. If those corals die the fish and other sea organisms/animals will have no place to live, or any protection from predators. This can cause entire species to be completely eradicated and become extinct. And the fish and other sea organisms whom stay in the dead coral reefs will most likely die from the acidious water.
- Practically, the only way to stop acid rain is to decrease the emissions from fossil fueled vehicles, industries and also natural gas leaks from within the Earth. A way to do this is for governments to put taxes on companies (or offer incentives if they agree to go green) who continues to use fossil fuels. The money that they get from said taxes can be used to encourage industries to go green and financially support them through the transition from using fossil fuels to for example solar power.
- Nutrient rich water from soil into the ocean can also be fatal in some cases. Some farmers put extra nutrients in the soil so that their crops grow faster and will be healthier, these are known as fertilizers. But when the rain comes those nutrients/fertilizers can be washed away and into the ocean. This can cause a rapid growth of plants and algae in the water, using up all of the oxygen. If this happens all of the small fish and organisms will most likely get diseases or sick from lack of oxygen and the sudden increase of nutrients in the water. They will probably have to move to another part of the ocean where they might suffer from lack of adaptation. This means that the fishes predators won't have any food. They'll either have to migrate to another part of the ocean where they'll most likely suffer from lack of adaptation too, or they stay in their home and die from hunger. Either way most of the fish and other sea organisms (that aren't seaweed or algae) will die and create a “sterile” spot in the ocean where there aren't any living organisms. This could also affect us as humans since we might fish in that place. And because there is no fish left we won't catch any. The people regularly fishing there might have to move to another area and fish there. In that area there might be other fishes and then there is a risk of overfishing.
- One way to fix this is to stop using fertilizers and pesticides. This is an extremely hard thing to do but if it works it can be crucial to not only sea life, but also aquatic life as rivers or lakes. Governments can start to ban fertilizers and pesticides that are proven to have a negative effect on the ocean and its animals, this has started to happen in other parts of Europe when the Bees were starting to die. I believe that this could work if the reason for the banning of the products were those of the sea life dying or getting sick. Another, easier, way to solve this could also be to put up filtration systems for example every 50 meters, making the water fresh and not harmful to the ocean and its inhabitants.
- Sewage is the single biggest water pollutant (pg. 328 in Chemistry for you, Kerboodle). In Sweden we have really good water treatment plants that take care of this, but in many countries, the sewage water is just washed right out into the ocean without being treated. Sewage water not taken care of by “reningsverk” goes right out into the ocean. This is really bad since it can cause the growth of algae and bacteria that use up all the oxygen, ergo the animals living there could be affected negatively, possibly to the point of death and collapsation of ecosystems, which will destroy the food chains and webs in that area. This will hugely affect the animals living there since a part of their food chain has died out (in that specific area) which could possibly cause that entire ecosystem to collapse. The pesticides that the sewage water brings with it can also become concentrated in the tissues of shellfish, making some of them sick and unable to hunt for food or escape from their predators. The poison gets in to their tissues when they consume certain organisms with the poisons in them. They can live with the poisons without it harming them (most of the time) but when we ingest them it can have serious consequences. WHO (World Health Organisation) as well as the FDA (Federal Department of Agriculture, in the US), have conducted experiments where they investigate shellfish for different types of toxins/chemicals. The chemicals they found were: Arsenic (has a long history as a potent poison of humans and other animals, previously used as a homicidal drug), Cadmium (Can turn the meat brown, which was displayed as “brown crab meat”, leaving us unaware that we are ingesting this poison. This could lead to us eating too much of it over a long period of time and eventually dying or getting really sick) and Lead, many more were found but it would take to long to go over them all .This might not have an immediate effect on our body but it could after many years of eating the poisonous shellfish. Groundwater can also be polluted by people washing their cars at home. If you have some water and soap and a sponge, that water is going to make its way into the grass or soil and go down to the groundwater or it will go down the wells we have to drain the water when it rains a lot.
- This can be fixed by building “reningsverk” in more countries around the world. Developed countries like Sweden could help them (other, less developed, countries) build “reningsverk” instead of just giving them money as aid.
- For centuries dumping waste into the water has been a really efficient method for humanity of getting rid of our trash but now we are starting to realise the consequences that is has. We thought that there wouldn't be a problem dumping garbage or polluted water into the ocean since it'll either sink to the bottom or dissolve and remain in the water. Today we experience the problems of what people for 100 years has made by polluting the water. It's not only that, we have kept going since then but the water hasn't shown any ´symptoms´ until now. There is not enough room here on the land to be able to store all of the trash, and we can't burn it since that will emit a lot of toxic gases. But the water can also be polluted by people throwing for example plastic bottles into the ocean. This, among other plastic products, is really bad for the ocean since all sea life get stuck in it and die. The plastic could also degrade and harm sea life with chemicals in it. And all of that only because people are too lazy to walk to the trash can. This can be fixed by implementing large fines for people and companies whom dump waste into the ocean.
- The problems I present in this essay are all caused by mankind and can only be fixed by mankind. All of the solutions I have proposed will be extremely expensive and might take years before any progress is shown. But I believe that it will be a small price to pay so that fish and other ocean inhabitants can swim in a clean ocean, our future generations can eat fish for dinner, go out and swim in the ocean or in a lake, but most importantly, to have fresh drinking water.
- Hyp3r__ aka blondie with a bow tie
- https://www.kerboodle.com/api/courses/11000/interactives/176556.html (pg. 328)
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