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Posts tagged "food chain"

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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Camila P- USA, Nov. 12, 2012

Hello everyone,
Rainforests are home to 50% of all species on earth in only 2% of all earth’s land. Therefore, the earths oxygen production does depend on the rainforest plant life quite a bit because of the photosynthesis process. As you many know, photosynthesis is the process where plants use CO2 and sunlight to gain energy, and releases oxygen as a waste product into the environment. Because of increased deforestation, carbon dioxide levels are steadily increasing.
Carbon dioxide is a gas that absorbs the sun’s UV rays, and ruins the ozone layer that protects the earth from these harmful rays. Deforestation causes a weaker ozone layer, further leading to global warming. Not only does deforestation interfere with the earth’s way of removing carbon dioxide, but it also adds carbon dioxide emission because the trees are usually burned after being cut down. When deforestation is paired with other carbon emitting activities such as aviation, automobiles, telephones, or heavy use of electronics, global warming can become even worse condition than it already is.

Camila P- USA
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Discussions Discussion Health & Environment
Wendy Bachman, Feb. 13, 2012

Dramatic changes to sea algae could herald devastation for human life:

Huge changes in the make-up of North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean algae in the space of five years could have harmful knock-on effects for human health and the rest of the food chain, research from Welsh scientists has revealed.

The changes seen in algal blooms – shifting from dinoflagellate to diatom algaes – could mean a build-up of toxins on feeder organisms.

Professor Graeme Hays, from Swansea’s Department of Biosciences in the College of Science, and an author in the study, said: “Imagine looking at your garden one morning and finding that the grass had suddenly been replaced by bushes. This may sound far-fetched, but we have found changes of this magnitude in the biology of the North Atlantic, with a dramatic switch in the prevalence of dinoflagellates to diatoms – two groups which include many of the microscopic planktonic plants forming the base of the ocean’s food chain.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/02/13/dramatic-changes-to-sea-algae-could-herald-devastation-for-human-life-welsh-academics-91466-30317996/

http://youtube.com/watch?v=AvigoZgYbT4
Wendy Bachman
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Discussions Discussion Welcome to Einztein
Marco Masoni, Oct. 27, 2011

A big welcome to the Einztein community of learners for new arrivals.

I’m not a biologist but a recent article in National Geographic caught my eye. Let me sum it up for you.

A recent study by Aquascience (http://www.aquascience.co.uk/) finds that the life of the British Mayfly has been cut short by 50% due to warming temperatures. As it was, mayflies only lived about two years, mostly as aquatic larvae, and got to enjoy their adulthood as winged creatures for only a few hours. Now, their lifespans have been reduced to one year! What does this mean, other than reminding us that life is short? The younger the mayfly dies, the less eggs it hatches during its life, so the potential for disruption to the food chain is enormous, since the mayfly is an important food staple for fish and birds.

This makes me wonder what other changes we will discover as environmental changes accelerate.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/111026-mayflies-climate-change/
Marco Masoni
Comments (4)
  • Marco Masoni Marco Masoni Oct. 27, 2011
    Fascinating. Thanks for the explanation. Good thing we have a biologist around.
  • srini n srini n Feb. 14, 2012
    Jason, thanks for that education. What I gather from your lucid note is that not only we are all connected but the connections are delicate and quite complex where any excess anywhere in the chain can throw the entire system out of balance. And a series of corrections are needed before we have that balance restored. Or is that at all possible?

    In my mother tongue, Tamil, (a South Indian language) there is an ancient saying: 'anything in excess is poison - even elixir'.
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin Feb. 14, 2012
    absolutely, and that is a wonderful saying.

    as for the “corrections” needed, the main one is simple to say but complicated to do: stop burning carbon.
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