Ocean Health Gets “D” Grade

October 29, 2014

This study graded each ocean and then a global average was calculated out of 100. This year the oceans got a 67, which is 7 points higher than last year. The researches said this was mainly due to more conservation efforts and protected marine areas. The western Pacific is heavily overfished and got one of the lowest scores. This is because outside of territorial waters (close to the shoreline), there aren’t nearly as many regulations or protected areas, so overfishing common. This report uses only 10 “human goals” to judge the health of the oceans, including tourism and sense of place. So take it with a grain of salt. At least it has been improving over the last 3 years however.


Galapagos Tortoise

October 29, 2014

The Galapagos Tortoise is found on the island Espanola which is in the southeaster Galapagos Islands. In the 1960’s there were only 15 of these tortoise’s left in the wild. For a while many people believed that these tortoise’s would go extinct. Due to breeding programs which were able to help raise and release 1,500 tortoise’s the population has greatly increased! The breeding programs are no longer needed because the tortoise’s are now successfully mating in the wild again.

Adult Galápagos tortoise

The Galapagos Tortoise has a life span of roughly 170 years, making them incredibly important to the ecosystem. The tortoise’s are incredibly important in spreading the seed of many plants. This helps spread the plants and the plants also are food for other animals. They are very important to this ecosystem and have been very resilient in having its population rebound.

http://www.newsweek.com/galapagos-giant-tortoise-brought-back-brink-extinction-280593


Michigan voting on wolf hunting

October 29, 2014

The reading for this week got me thinking a lot about wolves. One thing that is happening right now involving wolves is being settled when Michigan votes on Nov. 4th.

wolves3

(Photo: Dave Kenyon, AP)

Ballot issues target wolf hunting

The voters of Michigan are deciding on two pieces of legislation that would classify wolves as a game species and allow them to be hunted. The Legislative passed laws were put onto the ballot by special interest groups looking for a chance to change public opinion on the matter. Scientists question the need to hunt wolves because there is only an estimated 650 wolves living in Michigan’s upper peninsula and there have been no attacks on humans (there have however been 8 deaths and 1,300 injuries in vehicle crashes involving deer).

The main problem seems to be protecting domestic animals, which in my opinion isn’t enough justification. As I read in Environment and Society, some farms have non-lethal strategies for protecting their livestock, and as the article says, the number of cases of wolf predation of livestock in Michigan fall below the norm of most places that have wolves. Hopefully, Michigan votes no.


Current Event- Green Sites.

October 28, 2014

The first green sites have been revealed to the public. An amazing 3 billion dollars has been spent on green sites to keep sewage out of lake erie. More here.


Obama defends U.S. Ebola guidelines, backs American volunteers in Africa

October 28, 2014

This article mainly focused on the current Ebola crisis and how it is going to be handled going forward. He stated that we do not want to discourage doctors and nurse from going to West Africa to help the epidemic. However, many people disagree with the governments response. “Some states have imposed their own safeguards, including mandatory quarantines for doctors and nurses returning from the three countries at the center of the epidemic, saying federal policies do not adequately protect the public. Some lawmakers, particularly Republicans, have criticized the response by Obama’s administration as inept.”  Continuing they have talked about isolating troops and other volunteers that are over there for 21 days but the decisions has not been made yet. Finally, President Obama will address the media tomorrow with a update on the situation. 


Treasure Island

October 28, 2014

Treasure Island is a man-made and completely sustainable island that has all the latest environmental innovations. It has organic farms, wetlands for waste-water treatment, and the newest water conservation and renewable energy technology. Treasure island is an “urban oasis” and supposedly the most sustainable city in the world.

http://www.triplepundit.com/2007/12/treasure-island-plan-most-sustainable-city-on-the-planet/


Climate change and ocean circulation

October 27, 2014

Researchers argue that ocean circulation changes resulted in higher temperatures 3 million years ago and likely created the climate we now live in.  Greenhouse gases are not the only concern.

Ocean circulation moves water, heat and CO2.  “Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean…interactions between carbon dioxide, temperature changes and precipitation, and ocean circulation will result in profound changes.”

credit: NASA

Read more here!


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