Category Archives: Animals

Oil Spills?

Big Oil spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico can be ravaging on the environment. That doesn’t suggest that smaller oil spills cannot damage the environment. They do, just on a smaller sized scale. An important lesson from the Gulf Oil spill is that clean-up has to be a top priority. Read to find four key steps for cleanup and damage control.

Right here are the 4 key steps for oil spill clean-up and damage control: Prevention, containment, the actual clean-up, and preparedness.

Moving Forward With This

While avoidance appears not to fit, it is an important part. Oil spills or leakages can happen on a small scale, but if you have actually developed a backup system of containment, the leaking oil will not have an opportunity to escape into the environment. This means that the trouble can be solved prior to it ever becomes a trouble.

How can you achieve this feat? By creating additional layers of containment around the primary container. On a small scale, this means storing oil drums on spill pallets that catch any leaking or leaking oil.

Next, there’s containment on the occasion that the oil has in fact escaped and is streaming or leaking into the environment, for instance into the ocean or another body of water.

Now, proper containment is definitely crucial. What this implies is that a barrier is set up that will keep the oil in place and prevent it from escaping and spreading.

Such containment is critical for 2 reasons: It will lower damage, and it will certainly likewise make clean-up much easier.

Spill berms are fantastic for use on land, and spill booms are perfect for use on water. Booms come in absorbent and non-absorbent kinds. You may really want both. The non-absorbent ones are especially good for keeping the oil slick included.

The oil requires to be cleaned up. This means that it will certainly be soaked up in some way and got rid of. There is a large range of tools available to tidy up oil spills, consisting of a variety of absorbents. One of the key tools for an oil spill cleanup in a big body of water will certainly be oil absorbent booms. They can soak up an excellent quantity of water, while repelling water. As soon as they’re complete, they can be pulled out and be changed with fresh booms– till all the oil is taken in.

It ends up being truly hard and incredibly time consuming to clean up the entire location because oil sticks quickly and quickly to the surface area where it has got spoilt. Water spills call for simply cleaning off the water from the surface and any remaining traces will vaporize eventually. However, with oil, the story is entirely various since there is no scope for evaporation at all. It is either absorbent mats or the oil absorbent pads all the way to your rescue. And after being totally familiar with the sort of hazards that might accompany oil spills, it is strongly recommended that you remain purchased the best type of oil spill kits. There are the oil absorbent granules, oil absorbent pads; oil absorbent socks, oil absorbent booms, and oil absorbent drum tops which will certainly aid in cleaning up any kind of oil spills.

Obviously, there are varying sizes too, and one can pick them depending upon the kind of spills that generally happen at the workplace. If there is a frequency of big spills, purchasing little pads will not suffice and you will certainly need to go with the oil absorbent mats. When compared to pass as they have the capability to cover a lot more location than the pads, the mats have higher absorption capacity. There are the absorbent rolls too, which might be made use of to clean up oil spills. These rolls are perfect for absorbing petroleum items and the oil just absorbents will certainly soak up just oil from the spill and overlook any other substance, consequent lessening the danger of a slip or slide from the place.

Generally the oil absorbent pads have superior quality polypropylene material that is an absorbent. There are different sizes where the pads come in and there are various kinds too, that are available for the consumer to select from. Absorbent mats are a best spill response solution that we carry hand and they are offered in various classifications too. There is the Universal, Oil-only, HazMat, loose and Specialty absorbent mats that are found to offer terrific service to the user and help take on the toughest of discolorations with great ease. Supply Line Direct is one such online shop that homes all these sorts of pads and mats that contribute even more in the direction of efficient cleaning. Browse through the online catalog to identify the ideal classification that would fit your requirements and position your order to obtain them provided within 2 to 3 company days.

There is a fourth key to oil spill cleanup and damage control: Be ready. In order to minimize damage to the environment, the ability to react as quickly as possible is crucial. This suggests that if you’re taking care of oil and there’s even the furthest chance of a leak or spill, having the needed devices and materials for cleanup close at hand is a must. This is a major lesson learned from the Gulf oil spill.

Oil Spills – Some Interesting Facts

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has actually brought new attention to the oil company and the recovery efforts that are needed to contain or at the very least attempt to minimize the environmental impact of the oil gushing out to coat the waters and land along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast. In addition to the jobs on overseas oil well, there are more created as the need to handle the oil grows.

Oil spill containment booms are created for the function consisting of oil spills in water. They act as obstacles in between water infected by the oil spill and clean water. Oil spill containment booms settle all the oil spilt and laughs it off the water. An oil spill containment boom normally made from a buoyant material so that it can float quickly in the water; it is weighed down by a chain to stable it.

The oil spill containment boom is important to dealing with oil spills and protecting the delicate balance of the environment.

I digress, lets move on.

The jobs that are available rely on the amount of damage that has happened. In Florida, as an example, the variety of vessels that have actually been employed to assist establish and operate the containment boom, transportation of workers and devices as well as surveillance of the surface area of the ocean and the many local waterways is nearly 3 thousand. These vessels are compensated for their time, normally approximately $3,000 each day. The working group of local fishermen and local teams will certainly be the most help to supply clean up of the area the oil spill has included.

The Weird Thing About Oil Spills

Other jobs that are associated with the oil recovery are the people who are trained in shoreline recovery. After training in ways to deal with the waste items and devices used to clean them, and the correct way to manage the harmful waste. This might include cleaning the oil soaked particles, washing the rocks and beach areas and removal of trash.

The spill affected many various sorts of wildlife and fish along the coast and in the waters of the Gulf. The workers who are needed to report the dead animals are among those jobs not generally considered spill jobs however they do qualify. The wildlife biologists and oceanic science workers will certainly also belong to the tidy up as they study the environmental impact of the oil spill on animals and aquatic life in the Gulf shore and beyond.

When the event happened, the research study and impact of an oil spill reach beyond the immediate into decades from. Studies and environmental effects are still being done from the Exxon oil spill in Alaska years back.

The Secret Of Marine Garbage Patches

The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ is a wandering ‘soup’ of plastic waste which is believed to cover an area twice the size of the continental United States. The garbage originates from different sources: Some of it is shaken off oil platforms and ships, whereas much of the waste originates from land. The mass includes plastic items that will not rot down, such as toys, toothbrushes, carrier bags and cigarette lighters, to call but a few.

This mass of waste is devastating to marine life. Sea birds error the plastic items for food, and many such items have actually been discovered in the bellies of dead birds. According to the paper The Independent, it is estimated that plastic particles accounts for the death of one million seabirds each year, along with even more than 100,000 marine creatures. The plastic pieces do not break down, however, just break up into smaller and smaller pieces until ingested by sea creatures. This will unavoidably get in the food cycle as seafood is consumed by humans.

Widening The Marine Garbage Patches Discussion

Plastic just breaks down into smaller sized and smaller pieces after the sunshine, time and the erosion caused by wave action have worked upon it. These smaller pieces can quickly be ingested entire by marine animals. The tiniest little bits of plastic get eaten by plankton feeders and the big items, including plastic bags, get ingested by whales, seabirds and turtles. Every year, countless these marine animals are being eliminated by plastic that they have eaten and cannot digest or pass through them.

According to The Daily Mail newspaper, a team of Dutch scientists plan to transform the big mass of drifting debris into a habitable island, the size of Hawaii. If the plans go on, the island will be big enough to house 500,000 occupants, who will certainly utilize solar and wave energy and potential wind power, in order to sustain themselves.

The official website, Recycled Island, explains additional how this transformation will certainly be accomplished. The scientists plan to separate the plastics, shred them, melt them and turn them into hollow, floating blocks that will form the basis of the land mass, along with recycled plastic buildings. These processes will certainly all be completed in the afflicted area itself, to reduce the need for transport.

The scientists prepare to construct an urban area, in addition to a huge agricultural area, so that the island can be self adequate. The island will depend on human waste composting to help attain this. The islanders will likewise make use of seaweed as a way, a fertilizer and a biofuel soak up C02.

The Recycled Island Website points out an existing island, Spiral Island, as an example of a way to recycle plastic into a land mass. Spiral island was an island on the coastline of Mexico, built on a base of plastic bottles. The island was ruined by Hurricane Emily in 2005.

The website also makes use of the ‘Plastiki’ as an example of exactly what can be accomplished by reusing plastic waste. The Plastiki is a 20m catamaran made completely from recycled plastic bottles and other plastic waste.

Whether this idea supplies a real solution to the ever growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch stays to be seen.

Exploring Marine Garbage Patches

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is so big it has actually been estimated to be over twice the size of the continental United States and can be seen from space. Garbage collects in this area of the Pacific due to a system of very little wind and slow-moving currents known as the North Pacific subtropical gyre.

The plastic now caught in the patch has actually gathered gradually through several years from particles thrown or washed to the sea from the surrounding shorelines and from passing ships. This is garbage coming from every country in the North Pacific basin from North America to East Asia to Australia. The garbage is drawn to exactly what is referred to as the Northern Pacific Gyre, a system of currents in the northern Pacific, injected the center of the big vortex, and caught there by the peripheral distributing currents.

Controversial Marine Garbage Patches?

Trash is not confined to land, nor garbage dumps any longer. The oceans have actually ended up being waste dumps for refuse, and unless people act the trouble is just going to aggravate. The Ocean Conservancy works not just to tidy up the trash left by people, but to highlight the troubles dealing with waterways today. ‘Marine litter is among the most pervasive and understandable pollution issues afflicting the world’s waterways and oceans’, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Recently marine particles have converted from largely organic materials to primary synthetic substances. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of products as huge as kayaks, 2 footballs, rubber duckies, Frisbees, and Lagos, to plastic bottles, plastic bags, and small plastic designs, the raw materials utilized to make all things plastic. They can float on the water and travel long distances with the ocean currents because plastics are light-weight and buoyant. Ninety percent of the litter in the garbage patch is plastic, and it is estimated to extend up to 100 feet below the surface of the water. The plastic is so pervasive, it exceeds the plankton six to one.

You simply can’t ignore the logic.

It has actually been approximated that millions of sea animals, from marine creatures to sea turtles to birds, die yearly from ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in trash. On Midway Atoll, almost half of the albatross chicks born every year die. A research by the U. S. The Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the chicks that died from malnourishment or dehydration had two times as much plastic in their bellies compared with chicks who died for other factors (‘Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas.’ L.a Times. Kenneth Weiss. August 2006.). Dead chick carcasses expose bellies full of trash, consisting of bottle caps, highlighter pens, fishing line and small Styrofoam balls. Biologist John Klavitter estimates that albatross on Midway feed their young about five tons of plastic each year.

More About Marine Garbage Patches

The benefit of disposable plastic makes it a widespread element in society. Containers, product packaging, toys, item cases, and household materials are made from plastic. Products that used to be made from wood or metal are now made of plastic. In 2001, the average American consumed 223 pounds of plastic, and that number is expected to increase to 326 pounds by the end of 2010 – a hundred pound increase in just 10 years. As a growing trouble, the option should be multi-faceted. Consumers can begin by demanding retailers utilize less product packaging with their products through sensible purchases, and by enacting the three R’s: minimize, recycle and recycle. Twenty-six percent of marine particles gathered in the 23rd International Coastal Cleanup included plastic bags, plastic bottles, and caps. Using non-disposable refillable water bottles and reusable shopping bags, one 4th of the marine litter could potentially be gotten rid of if everyone did the same.

Marine Garbage Patches – Profiled

All plastic items are made from petrochemicals. As the name implies, a major component in petrochemicals is OIL.

According to Greenpeace, of the 25 billion pounds of plastic the United States produces each year just 1 billion is recycled. Though many plastics can be recycled in principle, in practice sorting it into different categories is too labor extensive to be feasible. Numerous complicated items like mobile phone and computers have numerous different plastic parts that ironing out the various kinds would be too costly.

While plastic can be reused its not a cut and dry procedure. Reusing petrochemical resins or plastics is both a pricey and challenging procedure. When plastic is recycled post-consumer they are generally’ every.’ When a plastic food container is every it is recycled, but it will never qualify as food grade plastic again. Each time the plastic is downcycled some degree of value is lost. If any product needs downcycling it should not be thought about a sustainable choice.

Broader Discussion on Marine Garbage Patches

Any recycling choice is better the creating waste. According to SIGG, ‘Over 100 million plastic canteen are unloaded into America’s garbage dumps– ever day!’ By the end of each year we reach a marvelous total of almost 40 billion plastic bottles. If each piece of plastic takes 1,000 years to the rate, not the rate, it seems we are producing waste as an impossible to maintain rate. To compound the concern these numbers represent ‘water bottles’ which are simply a part of our bigger plastic addiction.

Unlike many other products, plastic does not biodegrade – instead it photodegrades. As plastic photodegrades it breaks down into smaller sized and smaller sized pieces of plastic instead of splitting into easier compounds. With so much plastic in our ocean the small bits of plastic developed with nodules are called mermaid tears or nodules.

Investigating More About Marine Garbage Patches

Unlike naturally occurring substances, plastic does not photo-degrade, it just breaks up into ever-smaller pieces and lingers in the environment as an invisible toxic dust.

Unlike normally taking place compounds, plastic does not bio-degrade, it merely separates into ever-smaller pieces and sticks around in the environment as an invisible hazardous dust.

In short, it stays around FOREVER. That’s 200,000,000 heaps each year that we can’t do away with, ever. Is that a trouble? Depend upon whether or not you’re interested in the continuation of life on this earth. If you are, and I seriously wish so, please keep reading.

Near 20 % of disposed of plastic ends up in the sea. There is an area understood formally as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the Eastern Garbage Patch. It is 1,000 miles west of San Francisco, a swirling mass of plastic in an area two times the size of Texas. A research study by the United Nations Environmental Program estimates that in this area there are 46,000 drifting pieces of plastic for each square mile of ocean and the garbage now distributes to a depth of 30 meters.

When the main section of the Garbage Patch wanders over the Hawaiian Islands, Waimanalo Beach on Oahu is covered with blue-green plastic sand while Midway Atoll – a significant rookery for albatross – is now a PERMANENT garbage heap. Greenpeace approximates that a million seabirds a year pass away from plastic consumption, many of them chicks that have starved to death with stomachs filled with plastic cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and bottle caps. About 100,000 marine creatures also die. Sea turtles moving past the Garbage Patch do not understand the difference between a floating jellyfish and a floating plastic bag and frequently consume plastic bags. Experts who study the Rubbish Vortex state there is little we can do to clean it up. Most of what is now there will ultimately sink to the ocean floor where it will seriously disrupt ocean environments.

It has actually been estimated that millions of sea animals, from marine creatures to sea turtles to birds, pass away yearly from consuming plastic or becoming entangled in garbage. On Midway Atoll, almost half of the albatross chicks born every year die. A study by the U. S. The Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the chicks that died from malnourishment or dehydration had two times as much plastic in their tummies compared with chicks who craved other reasons (‘Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas.’ L.a Times. Kenneth Weiss. August 2006.). Dead chick carcasses disclose bellies loaded with trash, including bottle caps, highlighter pens, fishing line and little Styrofoam balls. Biologist John Klavitter approximates that albatross on Midway feed their young around five lots of plastic each year.

Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, took a trip over 100 km at random lengths in the North Pacific Gyre gathering samples of seawater. When the samples were examined he uncovered that. there is six times more plastic by weight in this area than there is naturally happening plankton. Since they are consuming mostly plastic instead of plankton, fish and birds that feed on plankton are now dying of malnourishment.

Ocean Garbage Patches: In recent years, researchers have discovered that debris in the seas builds up in a gyre of currents, creating what is frequently referred to as ‘garbage patches,’ but might be more properly called ‘plastic soup.’ In 1999, Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) creator, Captain Charles Moore, found the accumulation of confetti-sized littles plastic and miscellaneous other refuse in the “North Pacific subtropical gyre, now typically referred to as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch'” (algalita.org). The eastern part of the gyre, AMRF’s initial study area, has to do with two times the size of Texas. Moore’s team has taken samples from countless miles of ocean, and each of them has actually consisted of plastic. This is a major danger to the fish, birds, and other marine creatures that eat this poisonous garbage, in addition to a possible hazard to the people that eat them.

Scientists who study the issue state, there is no option other than to lower our use of plastic. It is crucial that we do so in order to guarantee the continuation of life on our world. This is not an exaggeration, we MUST stop poisoning our environment. Each time we discard plastic items, we are possibly sentencing sea animals and other wildlife to fatality.

Oil Spills – Our Update

An oil spill is one of the methods in which a large environmental disaster can occur, impacting all kinds of life. The worst affected is marine life, followed by those of birds, and slowly the damage spreads around to the land. The amount of pollution it causes to the air and water can not even be approximated. Additionally, the damage triggered is not only up until the oil spills are tidied up. The damage will manifest itself in time, and will slowly influence life on earth for years to come. Right here, we talk about the worst oil spill in history, followed by a description of some of the worst oil spills of perpetuity.

In the war in between Iraq and Kuwait, the Iraqi forces opened valves at an oil terminal offshore, to let loose 11 million barrels of oil into the Persian Gulf, in order to drive away the United States Marines that were advancing towards the nation. The amount released developed almost a 5 inch cover over the surface of the water, that spread approximately 4000 square miles. The aftereffects of the world’s only planned oil spill are still seen today, and the damage triggered to marine life is now irreversible, not to point out the amount of water pollution that has actually followed this oil spill.

and, to add to that…

While numerous assume that the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is one now of the biggest oil spills, it does not compare to the catastrophe triggered by the Gulf War oil spill. Triggered by an explosion of an oil rig in the Deepwater Horizon overseas oil drilling platform on April 20, 2010, located near the coast of Louisiana, the current reports have stated this oil spill as the United States’ worst oil spill catastrophes ever. An estimate of about 528,000 – 836,000 gallons of oil have actually already leaked into the Gulf. Furthermore, nearly 504,000 gallons of oil are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day, and has actually still not been successfully contained. Not only did this explosion and succeeding oil spill trigger the death and injury of a number of workers around, it is now infecting other parts of the nation and deeply influencing the environment.

The Weird Thing About Oil Spills

After mentioning the world’s worst oil spill, let’s take a look at a few of the other major oil spills, that have actually made it to this list.

Ixtoc1 Oil SpillJune 3, 1979Bay of Campeche, Mexico140 million gallonsThis oil spill happened as an outcome of a blowout during the drilling of an oil well. This task was being carried out by Pemex, a Mexican petroleum business. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico were affected, and it took an entire year to stop the continuous oil leak.

This well in the Gulf of Mexico was an exploratory well. The drilling platform suffered a blowout and broke down as an outcome. The harmed well leaked oil in the Gulf at a rate of 10s of countless barrels per day. Closing the well showed difficult and took 10 months to complete.

In the early 20 th century a company drilling at Lakeview hit a high pressured oil field. The pressure ended up being too high for the devices to withstand and the well became a gusher. The well gushed out countless barrels of oil daily, and it took 18 months to bring the well under control.

Atlantic Empress Oil SpillJuly 19, 1979Off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago90 million gallonsThe Atlantic Empress was a Greek oil tanker, that collided with the Aegean Captain as it was trapped in a tropical storm. The oil started to leak from the tanker, and continued even while it was being pulled. On Aug 3, 1979, it sunk into the water.

During a tropical storm the Atlantic Empress, a Greek oil tanker, hit the Aegean Captain, another Greek oil tanker. It’s one of the rare accidents between oil tankers, and by far the worst. The Aegean Captain was restored, however the Atlantic Empress experienced fire and surges and ultimately sank. Both ships lost substantial amounts of oil, none of which ever reached the Tobagan coasts.

Kolva River Oil SpillSeptember 8, 1994Kolva River, Russia84 million gallonsThis oil spill was caused by a pipeline that had burst, with the oil continuously leaking for practically 8 months. A dike limited the oil, but quickly collapsed, which led to a large oil leakage.

A leaking well, 500 kilometers from the city Namangan, in the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan leaked a massive amount of oil. There’s not a great deal of information readily available about the reason for this spill, or the effects.

Nowruz Oil Field SpillFebruary 10, 1983Persian Gulf, Iran80 million gallonsWhen a tanker broke down with an oil platform, it resulted in the spilling of large amounts of oil into the Persian Gulf.

Castillo de Bellver Oil SpillAugust 6, 1983Saldanha Bay, South Africa79 million gallonsThis oil spill was caused because the Castillo de Bellver ignited, and burglarized two. While large amounts of oil were leaked into the sea, part of it sunk, still carrying a little less than half the amount of oil.

The oil tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire and broke in two off the coast of South Africa. Both parts ultimately sank to the sea floor, with the majority of the oil still in its tanks. The spilled oil has had little effect on coastlines, and the environmental impact is considereded as minor.

In May 1991 the tanker ABT Summer sank in the Atlantic Ocean, 1300 kilometers off the coast of Angola. An on-board explosion began the tanker and the disaster sank after a number of days. The spilled oil never ever reached shore, and the environmental impact is frequently seen as minor.

Amoco Cadiz Oil SpillMarch 16, 1978Portsall, France69 million gallonsAfter having its rudder damaged in a winter storm, the Amoco Cadiz broke into two, and all the oil it contained spilled into the English Channel.

ABT Summer Oil SpillMay 28, 1991Approx 700 nautical miles off the coast of Angola51-81 million gallonsAfter the explosion of the ship carrying large amounts of oil, all the oil spilled into the sea triggering one of the worst oil spills in history.

MT Haven Tanker Oil SpillApril 11, 1991Genoa, Italy45 million gallonsThis tanker sank and blew up into the sea, off the coast of Italy, and continued leaking oil into the Mediterranean sea for almost 12 years.

Odyssey Oil SpillNovember 10, 1988Off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada40.7 million gallonsThis oil spill occurred about 700 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, and made it to the last of the ten of the world’s worst oil spills.

Lots of precautionary measures can be taken, in impact, the incident of an oil spill can not really be regulated. A great deal of 100% natural factors might cause an oil spill, such as a storm impacting an oil tanker or a blowout, as we have actually seen in the table above. No matter exactly what the scale of the oil spill, any oil spill can and will make it to the worst oil spill in history, simply due to the fact that of its huge aftermath.

Real Marine Garbage Patches

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii that has a large number of plastic debris. It is something more than a ‘patch’. The debris area is twice the size of Hawaii. Where one defines the edge of the patch is founded on what is considered ‘elevated’ levels of plastics and debris. Some say the patch is hundreds of square miles and can be twice the area of Texas.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is likewise known as Pacific Trash Vortex and it’s also referred to as Eastern Garbage Patch. This is because the garbage comes from the two sides of the Pacific Ocean. The floating garbage debris consists of six-pack rings, balloons, drinking cups, broken pieces of toys, plastic bags, and so on.

And…

The plastics and marine debris accumulate in this area, owing to the ocean currents of the North Pacific Gyre forming a subtropical convergence zone. An ocean gyre is large system of rotating ocean currents. The North Pacific Gyre is either of the five major ocean gyre in the world. Its clockwise currents circle the Pacific ocean running down the California coast.

The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is one of five oceanic gyres, massive vortexes in the open ocean that are caused by wind-driven surface currents. The North Pacific Gyre is formed by four ocean currents: the North Pacific Current, North Equatorial Current, Kuroshio or Japan Current, and California Current. Flowing clockwise, these currents create an enormous circle in the sea between the west side of the US and Japan. Varying in width and depth, the speed of these currents ranges from one to 4 km/hour.

The problem has become so bad that there are picture of carcasses of Albatross and other seabirds with stomachs filled with bottle caps and other plastics. The birds mistake the tiny bits of plastics as food and ingest them. Birds have starved to death because their digestive tracts has been stuffed with non-digestible plastics. Sea turtles also ingest the plastic. Some disturbing images are in the tape on the law of a presentation at the TED conference.

Plastic bags get eaten by turtles, sea birds and whales that mistake them for marine creatures. They are unable to digest them or pass them through themselves and often die. Albatrosses, many species of whom are already endangered, collect floating plastic garbage they mistake for squid and sea creatures and feed these items to their hungry chicks. The baby birds stomachs get full of plastic and having no place for real food they starve and die. When plastic gets thrown away and not recycled this is what may happen when it reaches the sea.

Not only does this affect marine life, it affects us. Because plastics absorb pollutants like PCB and DDT, these pollutants can accumulated in animal tissues and possibly ascend the food chain into the fish that we eat.

In some areas, there is a 6 times more plastic than plankton by weight. There can be up to half a pound of garbage, for every 100 square meter. That amounts to 3 million tons of plastic there.

It is estimated that only 20 per cent of it come from vessels in the ocean. The rest must have been bits and pieces that have blown off garbage trucks, went through storms drains, into the rivers, and that’s where it ends up. Ocean currents are such that floatsom congrugates in that area.

Watch what goes into the storm drains-People who leave near the ocean or a river or stream that ultimately drains into the ocean should be aware of the fact that whatever trash that goes into the storm drains ends up washing out into the sea.

Plastic biodegrade at such slow rates that it’s hardly significant. They just disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces. What about clean up? Trying to scoop all these tiny pieces of plastic (some too weak to be seen) is expensive. It is best to put an end to the plastic at its source and not allow them get into the storm drains and rivers in the former place.

Unlike many other materials plastic doesn’t biodegrade-instead it photodegrades. As plastic photodegrades it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic instead of splitting into simpler compounds. With so much plastic in our ocean the small bits of plastic created through photodegradation are called mermaid tears or nurdles.

The film Tapped which is about the problems of bottled water also makes mention the North Pacific Gyre and shows some water sample from it. It also shows a beach whose sand have intermixed bits of plastic in it.

Because the plastic debris is slightly below the ocean surface, it can not be considered in satellite photos, but you can watch it if you sail through it.

Captain Charles Moore encountered this patch of ocean debris in 1997 when sailing between Honolulu and California. He later formed the Algalita Marin Research Foundation dedicated to preserving the marine environment through education of the public. Moore made a presentation at the TED conference showing the world the problem. Video on the right.

The problem of trash in the seas isn’t limited to the North Pacific; debris is found in the world’s oceans. National and international conventions and agreements have been taken to reduce the number of plastic debris that ends up in the marine environment. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is investigating potential cleanup strategies. Many organizations are devoted to restoring the oceans, including the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, the Environmental Cleanup Coalition, and the Ocean Conservancy.

Even before Moore first ran into it, a paper published by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1988 reported high plastic density in area in the Japan Sea. From this, scientist believed that based on ocean current movements that similar concentration of plastic would occur in the North Pacific Gyre as well.

Thomas Morton went along and wrote a good descriptive article with pictures of what he saw during one of Moore’s regular trips to the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Moore described what he found in an email published on the HuffingtonPost when he came back in 2009.

To raise consciousness of the problem, adventure ecologist David de Rothschild built a 60-foot catamaran named Plastiki made completely out of plastics. In 2010, they set sail from San Francisco to go right through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and land in Syndey. For buoyancy the boat uses 12, 500 of the 2-liter soda/water bottles.

It is a completely ‘green environmental’ boat made from self-reinforced polyethylene terephthalate (SR-PET) which represents a new plastic that is derived from recycled plastic. In this way, after the journey the boat can be grounded up and turned back into recyclable plastic bottles.

The boat is powered completely by renewable energy such as wind, water turbine, bike, and solar. There is even a small garden on the boat.

Toxins in plastic are entering the food chain, causing obesity, sterility, and worse. Find out more at Men’s Health.

The Raven

The Raven is North America’s largest perching bird. They are actually referred to as passerine birds, which mean they have distinguished feet that is adapted for perching.

The Raven is an Omnivore and known to be very effective hunters that make use of cooperation during hunting. Teams of ravens are known to have been able to hunt large animals in the wild. They can feed on smaller animals like rodents, insects and worms, as well as grains which make them omnivores.

A lot of times too, they feed on carrions – decaying flesh of dead animals, and human garbage; making them scavengers.

During their breeding seasons, ravens are seen displaying magnificent aerial skills. These displays are mostly mating rituals, involving dances, rolls and dives. They usually make croaking sounds, and other forms of sounds.

In the winter months, groups of ravens flock to search for food together during the day, and at night they roost. They are always in groups or in twos. Ravens are known to mate for life, especially during the remaining months of the year.

common_raven_calling_nps

When they begin to lay eggs, they make large nests with sticks; laying up to three to seven eggs. Because the ravens are always coupled, they take care of the young together. When the eggs hatch, they are dependent on their parents for several months.

The average life span of the raven is about 13 years, and could weigh up to 1.3 kg. The ravens are really sleek and remarkable birds and make for a beautiful sight when they are together in their flock.

The Moose

The Moose is a mammal that feeds on woody vegetation, aquatic plants and leaves. It weighs up to 800 kilograms, standing at a height of 1.5 to 2 meters at shoulder level. Even with its size the moose could run up to 55 kilometers per hour.

The moose is grotesque to look at and at times can seem awkward in its movement, because of its long legs. However, it is known to be able to defend itself from other wild animals; and can swim for long distances when feeding on water plants.

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The sensitivity of the moose is remarkable. It can detect movements almost behind it without turning the head, by simply moving its eyes. Some researchers suggest that because the nostrils are far apart, it gives the moose the uncanny ability to perceive the location of objects in a 3 dimensional scale. As for its hearing, the ears can pick sounds in all directions, especially from other moose as far as three kilometers.

The offspring is called a calf and can be very tender, playful and loyal, even when it is adopted by humans.

Since the moose feed exclusively on plants, the cold winter periods presents a trying time for the large mammal. It feeds voraciously during the warm weather, eating up to 23 kg of forage every day. The forage could be from aquatic plants or above the ground; feeding this way stores up fat in its body.

In the winter, the mammal reduces its activities and retains heat under its fur all through the chilly season.

Kurdistan Leaf-toed Gecko (Asaccus kurdistanensis)

 

Class REPTILIA
Order SQUAMATA
Suborder SAURIA (Gekkota)
Family Gekkonidae
Name (Scientific) Asaccus kurdistanensis
Name (English) Kurdistan leaf-toed gecko

This species is endemic to Iran and has been recently described by Rastegar-Pouyani et al in 2006 (Torki and Sharifi 2007). The Ecology and Herpetology Torki Farhang Research Center initiated a program on this species and other reptiles and amphibians endemic to Iran.

Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)

 

 

Did you know?

That there is a strong belief that the condors prey on livestock, so farmers are justified in shooting to protect their flocks? Indeed, the condors are scavengers, feeding on corpses. Thus, they have an important role, and that is to eliminate potential sources of diseases.

The Andean Condor is the largest New World South America. It has a total length from 109 to 146 cm and a wingspan of up to 330 cm. The head is bald with small bristles, red or blackish red with a large fleshy crest. It has a collar of white feathers at the base of the neck. The body plumage is glossy black, with white feathers on the wing. The bill is ivory with a slate base, the legs are gray. Females are similar to males, but lack the crest and the neck is smaller. Juveniles are completely dark brown color. The head has no crest and is covered with hairy feathers short.

 

Blue Guacamayito (Spix’s Macaw)

 

 

The Blue Macaw is a medium sized parrot with a length of 56 cm. They have a graduated tail that is longer than the body. The plumage is mainly blue, darker on the back, wings and upper tail.

The underside of the tail is dark gray, forehead and ear coverts are gray dyed blue, and the rest of the head is blue-gray. It has a slight greenish tints below. The bare skin around the eyes is dark gray and grayish black beak. Immature birds are darker than adults and have a shorter tail.