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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part I

Posted by feww on March 14, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES – Our Oceans Are Now Dying!

Ocean “deserts” are expanding much faster than predicted, according to a new study by the University of Hawaii and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA.

It is believed that the ocean “desertification,” which is caused by the warming of sea surface waters, may result in the population decline of many fish species.

globe2s.jpg
Black areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the least productive. (Credit NOAA)

“Between 1998 and 2007, these expanses of saltwater with low surface plant life in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers, according to the study which appears in Geophysical Research Letters. The expansion is occurring at the same time that sea surface temperatures are warming about one percent or .02 to .04 degrees Celsius a year. The warming increases stratification of the ocean waters, preventing deep ocean nutrients from rising to the surface and creating plantlife.”

The evidence of this expansion comes from data collected by a sensor aboard NASA’s orbiting SeaStar spacecraft. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, called SeaWiFS, is a unique tool that maps ocean biological productivity around the globe. This visual sensor reads reflective color to measure the density of chlorophyll in phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that are the base of the marine food web.”

These barren areas are found in roughly 20 percent of the world’s oceans and are within subtropical gyres—the swirling expanses of water on either side of the equator.”

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Dark blue areas in this figure of the global distribution of chlorophyll
are the areas with the least surface chlorophyll. (Credit NASA)

As for the remaining 80 percent area of world’s oceans …

See Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part II


References:

  • Landry, C.A., S. Manning, and A.O. Cheek. 2004. Hypoxia suppresses reproduction in Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis. e.hormone 2004 conference. Oct. 27-30. New Orleans.
  • Murphy, C. . . . P. Thomas, et al. 2004. Modeling the effects of multiple anthropogenic and environmental stressors on Atlantic croaker populations using nested simulation models and laboratory data. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Johanning, K., et al. 2004. Assessment of molecular interaction between low oxygen and estrogen in fish cell culture. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Nutrients in the Nation’s Waters–Too Much of a Good Thing? U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1136.

Related Links:

See Also:  Our Dying Oceans (Parts II,III, and IV)

Fair Use Notice!


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Emergency Warning to Tourists Visiting New Zealand

Posted by msrb on February 6, 2008

[New Zealand Poisoning Syndrome (NZPS), Health Bulletin # 1. Exposure to Bromoethane Feb. 6, 2008]

Toxic Hazard Warning:
Bromomethane
Exposure in New Zealand !

Tourist cruise ships with up to 1200 passengers in New Zealand’s crowded tourist ports are berthed just meters from open air spots where logs are fumigated with methyl bromide. Report

Methyl bromide (bromomethane) is an odorless, colorless nonflammable gas used to fumigate crops, logs and goods. Bromomethane is on the list of banned ozone-depleting substances of the Montreal Protocol.

Bromomethane: Health Effects Report

The following summary of health effects of exposure to Bromomethane (methyl bromide) is based on various reports including a toxicological report issued by CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Register, ATSDR:

What is Bromomethane?

Bromomethane is a manufactured chemical (nature also produce also bromomethane in minute quantities). Bromomethane is used to kill a variety of pests including rats, insects, and fungi. It is also used to make other chemicals or as a solvent to get oil out of nuts, seeds, and wool.

Bromomethane Affects Your Health

If you inhale bromomethane you may develop a headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and weakness; this may be followed by mental excitement, convulsions and even acute mania. More prolonged inhalation of lower concentrations may cause fluid build up in your lungs and it may be hard to breathe. It could cause bronchitis, pneumonia, muscle tremors, seizures, kidney damage, nerve damage, and even death.

Exposure levels leading to death vary from 1,600 to 60,000 parts of bromomethane in 1 million parts of air (1,600-60,000 ppm), depending on the length of the exposure.

The respiratory, kidney and neurologic effects are of the greatest concern to people.

[Note: Studies in animals suggest at high exposure levels bromomethane causes birth defects and interferes with reproduction.]

Is there a medical test to show whether I’ve been exposed to bromomethane?

Several tests are available to determine if you have been exposed to bromomethane by measuring the toxic residues in your blood or in the air you exhale. However the tests are useful only if they are carried out immediately after exposure is suspected because most bromomethane doesn’t stay in your body long.

For more information, contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop F-32
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737)
FAX: (770)-488-4178
Email: ATSDRIC@cdc.gov

Related Links:
Truth About ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Advertising Campaign
NZ indiscriminate aerial applications of the potent poison 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate)
New Zealand: A Tourist Deathtrap

Posted in holiday, life, new zealand, New Zealand Poisoning Syndrome, poisoning, Tourism, Tourists, Travel | Leave a Comment »