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Environmental Disasters

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Erin Rainard

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Environmental Disasters

Environmental Disasters The 2013 Smog of Beijing
and
Environmental Threats to the
Great Barrier Reef 2013 Smog of Beijing It began January 16th, 2013 and lasted for multiple days Smog is a secondary pollutant Photochemical smog is where car exhaust reacts with sunlight to create smog Reports show that there are currently 5.18 million cars in Beijing compared to 3.13 million in 2008 Another Cause for the Smog Beijing sits in the middle of a belt of coal burning factories China represents 47% of the world's coal use Coal According to the EPA, the air was rated hazardous for multiple days in a row. This rating means nobody should venture outside at all. The smog got so bad that school children were banned from any outdoor activity or recess for weeks. Visibility in Beijing was reduced to less than 200 meters A Beijing Pediatric hospital said it had treated more than 9,000 children in January for respiratory illnesses, most of which the doctors blamed on the smog. Measures being taken: Over 100 factories are being shut down 1/2 of all government cars are being ordered off the streets 180,00 of the oldest vehicles are being ordered off the roads Green energy is being promoted Over 250 square kilometers of trees will be planted over the next 5 years Clean Air Act Mr. Pan asked the 14 million followers on his micro blog whether China should adopt a clean air act that is stricter than what is currently in place. Out of 42,000 people who responded, 99% were in favour of the act. Environmental Threats to
the Great Barrier Reef Crown-of-thorns Starfish These are predators to the coral that eat the coral polyps by releasing digestive enzymes that absorb the coral’s tissue. 1 adult starfish can destroy 6 square meters of coral per year.
Coral Bleaching Coral is sensitive to heat, and the El Nino effect is causing a rise in temperature, and so is pollution. When the temperature gets too high, the algae dies which makes the corals lose their colour. Coral bleaching will eventually result in the death of the coral.
Tourists Reef walking, dropping anchors from cruise ships, and the pollution from them. Suntan lotions, when they get in the water, are also harmful to the reef’s environment.
Over Fishing The fishing industry around the Great Barrier Reef makes a profit of AU$1 billion annually. Fishing is also a recreation for the locals and the tourists. The Marine Park Authority protects certain regions and catching animals like dolphins, green turtles, whales and dugongs. Fishing becomes a threat to the ecosystem if people catch rare or important species because it will disrupt the food chain. The added pollution caused by boats, trawling, nets and anchors of fishing boats causes destruction to the reef.
Oil Spills A total of 282 oil spills happened in the Great Barrier Reef
between 1987 and 2002. Today oil drilling is banned on
the reef.
Shipping Accidents Several commercial shipping routes pass through the reef system. 20 groundings and 11 collisions were reported from 1985-2001. Wastes and other foreign objects are also a threat to the reef.
Water Quality and Temperature the increase of human population in Australia poses a great environmental risk. Human wastes and chemicals from industrial sites that are affecting the water quality. Out of the 3,000 coral reefs, approximately 400 are in danger of becoming contaminated because of the quality of water. Another threat to the reef is the rising temperatures of the ocean. The thinning of the ozone layer due to excess burning fossil fuels and other human activities has greatly affected the water temperatures through global warming.
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