MARINE POLLUTION - CAUSES + EFFECTS

Poh Yi MAH94
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Poh Yi MAH94
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ecology homework

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MARINE POLLUTION - CAUSES + EFFECTS
  1. Oil Pollution
    1. 12% of the oil that enters the ocean is from oil spills, the other 88% is contributed by drains, dumping and shipping travel.
      1. Oil is not soluble, which means it stays floating on top of the surface.
        1. Suffocates and inhabits the movement of marine animals such as fish, dolphins, turtles, animals that need to come up and breathe.
          1. Doesn't allow aquatic plants to photosynthesize as the sunlight is blocked by the oil.
            1. Affects food chain, producers don't have (for example) algae to eat to they decrease in population. This makes it harder for the primary consumer to search for it, to they may end up dying too, this cycle continues as it reaches the predator.
        2. Sewage + Waste water
          1. Sewage is the term used for wastewater that often contains faeces, urine and laundry waste.
            1. Untreated sewage water in such areas can contaminate the environment and cause diseases such as diarrhoea.
              1. In developed countries, sewage often causes problems when people flush chemical and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet. When people are ill, sewage often carries harmful viruses and bacteria into the environment causing health problems.
          2. Global Warming
            1. Increase in water temperatures can cause the death of many aquatic organisms and disrupt marine habits. Coral bleaching of reefs occur, which stops the release of microorganisms that it is dependent on.
              1. Burning fossil fuels release CO2 into the atmosphere and cause the heat form the Sun to get rapped in the Earth's atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise.
              2. Radioactive waste
                1. Pollutes the sea, causing marine animals intake the waste and possibly resulting in death and disease.
                  1. We may end up consuming the fish that have been exposed to radioactive waste, resulting in fisheries halting their operations and us being wary of the fish we eat.
                    1. Business may have to shut down due to the lack of sales.
                      1. A new disease may be introduced to the population as nuclear waste can mutate organisms.
                    2. Operations conducted in nuclear power stations produce radioactive waste. Mining and refining uranium thorium also contributes to marine nuclear waste.
                    3. Industrial Waste
                      1. Produces pollutants that are extremely harmful to people and the environment.
                        1. Many industrial facilities use freshwater to carry away waste from the plant and into rivers, lakes and oceans.
                          1. Pollutants from industrial sources include:
                            1. Asbestos – This pollutant is a serious health hazard and carcinogenic. Asbestos fibres can be inhaled and cause illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, intestinal cancer and liver cancer.
                              1. Lead – This is a metallic element and can cause health and environmental problems. It is a non-biodegradable substance so is hard to clean up once the environment is contaminated. Lead is harmful to the health of many animals, including humans, as it can inhibit the action of bodily enzymes.
                                1. Mercury – This is a metallic element and can cause health and environmental problems. It is a non-biodegradable substance so is hard to clean up once the environment is contaminated. Mercury is also harmful to animal health as it can cause illness through mercury poisoning.
                                  1. Nitrates – The increased use of fertilisers means that nitrates are more often being washed from the soil and into rivers and lakes. This can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
                                    1. Phosphates – The increased use of fertilisers means that phosphates are more often being washed from the soil and into rivers and lakes. This can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
                                      1. Sulphur – This is a non-metallic substance that is harmful for marine life.
                                        1. Oils – Oil does not dissolve in water, instead it forms a thick layer on the water surface. This can stop marine plants receiving enough light for photosynthesis. It is also harmful for fish and marine birds.
                                          1. Petrochemicals – This is formed from gas or petrol and can be toxic to marine life.
                                        2. Underground Storage Leakage
                                          1. Petroleum, which is harmful to the environment is often stored in steel pipes. However over time these steel pipes corrodes as it is exposed to the environment and contaminates the surrounding soil and ground water.
                                            1. The ground water may lead to a water source, which would potentially get contaminated with the petroleum. Animals living in that water source end up dying from this harmful substance.
                                          2. Eutrophication
                                            1. Fertilisers distributed sometimes get carried into a water source e.g a river. This causes the plants growing in the river to grow rapidly, they end up absorbing all the O2 in the water leaving none for marine life.
                                              1. Not enough O2 for marine life to intake, resulting in their death.
                                            2. Marine Dumping
                                              1. Litter items such as 6-pack ring packaging can get caught in marine animals and may result in death.
                                                1. Different items take different lengths of time to degrade in water:
                                                  1. Cardboard – Takes 2 weeks to degrade.
                                                    1. Plastic packaging – Takes 400 years to degrade.
                                                      1. Newspaper – Takes 6 weeks to degrade.
                                                        1. Aluminium – Takes 200 years to degrade.
                                                          1. Glass – It takes so long to degrade that we don’t know the exact time.
                                                        2. Atmospheric Deposition
                                                          1. water particles mix with carbon dioxide sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, forming a weak acid. This gas is absorbed by water vapour, making it even more acidic. Then it is rained down as acid rain, this level of acidity harms aquatic life.
                                                            1. Aquatic habitats become unadaptable and too unhealthy to live in, causing aquatic species to die. This increase the possibility of extinction, degrading the ecosystem.
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