9 posts tagged pollution

25th February 2013
The dog whelk (Nucella lapillus) has been the subject of a number of scientific studies regarding the effects of pollutants on mollusks’ reproductive development. Tributyltin (TBT), a chemical commonly used as a molluscicide on boats and marine structures, has been directly linked to imposex (females developing a penis) in the dog whelk. Imposex in mollusks such as the dog whelk can lead to reproductive failure by removing a means for the animal’s eggs to leave its body. This discovery from the mid-1980s has helped phase out the use of TBT on smaller ocean-going vessels, but tributyltin can still be used on vessels longer than 25 m in length under the assumption that these vessels will be out in open water, where the chemical can be diluted before it reaches vulnerable near-shore mollusks.
(Photo(s)) The dog whelk (Nucella lapillus) has been the subject of a number of scientific studies regarding the effects of pollutants on mollusks’ reproductive development. Tributyltin (TBT), a chemical commonly used as a molluscicide on boats and marine structures, has been directly linked to imposex (females developing a penis) in the dog whelk. Imposex in mollusks such as the dog whelk can lead to reproductive failure by removing a means for the animal’s eggs to leave its body. This discovery from the mid-1980s has helped phase out the use of TBT on smaller ocean-going vessels, but tributyltin can still be used on vessels longer than 25 m in length under the assumption that these vessels will be out in open water, where the chemical can be diluted before it reaches vulnerable near-shore mollusks.
(Photo(s))

The dog whelk (Nucella lapillus) has been the subject of a number of scientific studies regarding the effects of pollutants on mollusks’ reproductive development. Tributyltin (TBT), a chemical commonly used as a molluscicide on boats and marine structures, has been directly linked to imposex (females developing a penis) in the dog whelk. Imposex in mollusks such as the dog whelk can lead to reproductive failure by removing a means for the animal’s eggs to leave its body. This discovery from the mid-1980s has helped phase out the use of TBT on smaller ocean-going vessels, but tributyltin can still be used on vessels longer than 25 m in length under the assumption that these vessels will be out in open water, where the chemical can be diluted before it reaches vulnerable near-shore mollusks.

(Photo(s))

28th January 2013
It’s easy to forget that human actions affect animals who live on the other side of the world. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an insecticide that was extremely popular up until it was banned in the 70’s based on its health risks for the environment and humans, has been found in the bodies of penguins and seals in Antarctica. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how toxins move through the food chain and can affect animals that would never normally come into contact with them.
(Photo source)

It’s easy to forget that human actions affect animals who live on the other side of the world. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an insecticide that was extremely popular up until it was banned in the 70’s based on its health risks for the environment and humans, has been found in the bodies of penguins and seals in Antarctica. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how toxins move through the food chain and can affect animals that would never normally come into contact with them.

(Photo source)

12th January 2013
The Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project (GLEAM) has shown that of the five Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is the most at-risk from environmental stressors. The Great Lakes, located along the border of southeastern Canada and northeastern US, hold 20% of the planet’s fresh water. If the water in these lakes was spread evenly across the continental United States, it would be covered in about 9.5 feet of water.
The map, which uses a stress index to show the environmental pressure put on the Great Lakes, shows that Lake Ontario is by far the most seriously affected lake; nearly the entirety of the lake is at 80-100% on the stress index, which takes into account the cumulative stress from sources like coastal development, climate change, invasive species, and toxic chemicals.
The most serious threat to Lake Ontario are invasive species, such as zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), which colonize rapidly and extensively on almost any bare surface, nitrogen runoff, and toxic pollution from mercury and PCBs.
The key to saving the Great Lakes from these environmental stressors, scientists say, is to look at all the problems together rather than individually. There is definitely hope for the Great Lakes, but we need to address the problems now before they get even worse.
(Map source)(Photo source) The Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project (GLEAM) has shown that of the five Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is the most at-risk from environmental stressors. The Great Lakes, located along the border of southeastern Canada and northeastern US, hold 20% of the planet’s fresh water. If the water in these lakes was spread evenly across the continental United States, it would be covered in about 9.5 feet of water.
The map, which uses a stress index to show the environmental pressure put on the Great Lakes, shows that Lake Ontario is by far the most seriously affected lake; nearly the entirety of the lake is at 80-100% on the stress index, which takes into account the cumulative stress from sources like coastal development, climate change, invasive species, and toxic chemicals.
The most serious threat to Lake Ontario are invasive species, such as zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), which colonize rapidly and extensively on almost any bare surface, nitrogen runoff, and toxic pollution from mercury and PCBs.
The key to saving the Great Lakes from these environmental stressors, scientists say, is to look at all the problems together rather than individually. There is definitely hope for the Great Lakes, but we need to address the problems now before they get even worse.
(Map source)(Photo source)

The Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project (GLEAM) has shown that of the five Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is the most at-risk from environmental stressors. The Great Lakes, located along the border of southeastern Canada and northeastern US, hold 20% of the planet’s fresh water. If the water in these lakes was spread evenly across the continental United States, it would be covered in about 9.5 feet of water.

The map, which uses a stress index to show the environmental pressure put on the Great Lakes, shows that Lake Ontario is by far the most seriously affected lake; nearly the entirety of the lake is at 80-100% on the stress index, which takes into account the cumulative stress from sources like coastal development, climate change, invasive species, and toxic chemicals.

The most serious threat to Lake Ontario are invasive species, such as zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), which colonize rapidly and extensively on almost any bare surface, nitrogen runoff, and toxic pollution from mercury and PCBs.

The key to saving the Great Lakes from these environmental stressors, scientists say, is to look at all the problems together rather than individually. There is definitely hope for the Great Lakes, but we need to address the problems now before they get even worse.

(Map source)(Photo source)

8th October 2012
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which in 1962 exposed the hazards of the pesticide DDT, eloquently questioned humanity’s faith in technological progress and helped set the stage for the environmental movement.
Carson, a renowned nature author and a former marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was uniquely equipped to create so startling and inflammatory a book.Silent Spring took Carson four years to complete. It meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months, and not only the targeted insects but countless more, and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater.The book’s most haunting chapter, “A Fable for Tomorrow,” depicted a nameless American town where all life—from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children—had been “silenced” by the insidious effects of DDT.
(Photo source)

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which in 1962 exposed the hazards of the pesticide DDT, eloquently questioned humanity’s faith in technological progress and helped set the stage for the environmental movement.

Carson, a renowned nature author and a former marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was uniquely equipped to create so startling and inflammatory a book.
Silent Spring took Carson four years to complete. It meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months, and not only the targeted insects but countless more, and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater.
The book’s most haunting chapter, “A Fable for Tomorrow,” depicted a nameless American town where all life—from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children—had been “silenced” by the insidious effects of DDT.

(Photo source)

8th October 2012
Firefighters battle a fire on Ohio’s Cuyahoga River in 1952. The polluted river caught fire on several occasions between 1936 and 1969, when debris and oil had concentrated on the water’s surface and ignited. A blaze in 1969 came at a time of increasing environmental awareness and symbolized years of environmental neglect. The Cuyahoga River fires helped spur grassroots activism that resulted in a wave of federal legislation devoted to taking serious action against air and water pollution.
(Information and photo via NOAA)

Firefighters battle a fire on Ohio’s Cuyahoga River in 1952. The polluted river caught fire on several occasions between 1936 and 1969, when debris and oil had concentrated on the water’s surface and ignited. A blaze in 1969 came at a time of increasing environmental awareness and symbolized years of environmental neglect. The Cuyahoga River fires helped spur grassroots activism that resulted in a wave of federal legislation devoted to taking serious action against air and water pollution.

(Information and photo via NOAA)

28th August 2012
For many years, coastal seas have been used as a convenient dump for human waste. Even the most remote seashores are now littered with plastic. More insidious is invisible pollution: nutrients and pathogens from sewage; heavy metals, organohalogens, and other toxins from industrial and agricultural effluents; radioactive waste from power stations’ and hydrocarbons from effluents, oil spills, and other sources.
(Photo source)

For many years, coastal seas have been used as a convenient dump for human waste. Even the most remote seashores are now littered with plastic. More insidious is invisible pollution: nutrients and pathogens from sewage; heavy metals, organohalogens, and other toxins from industrial and agricultural effluents; radioactive waste from power stations’ and hydrocarbons from effluents, oil spills, and other sources.

(Photo source)

13th April 2012
The first picture is of the carcass of a Laysan Albatross chick. It’s obvious what killed the chick: the fact that the only thing in its stomach was garbage.
Albatrosses fly hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles in search of food for their chicks. They look for squid and fish eggs floating on the surface of the water. Unfortunately, plastic floats, and Laysan albatross are particularly attracted to it. They eat it, mistaking if for food, then they fly back to the nest and feed bottle caps, lighters, fishing lures and other pieces of plastic to their young. The chicks starve to death, with stomachs full of plastic.
The second picture is of the contents of a different chick that was found to have greater than a half pound of plastic in its stomach.
(source) The first picture is of the carcass of a Laysan Albatross chick. It’s obvious what killed the chick: the fact that the only thing in its stomach was garbage.
Albatrosses fly hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles in search of food for their chicks. They look for squid and fish eggs floating on the surface of the water. Unfortunately, plastic floats, and Laysan albatross are particularly attracted to it. They eat it, mistaking if for food, then they fly back to the nest and feed bottle caps, lighters, fishing lures and other pieces of plastic to their young. The chicks starve to death, with stomachs full of plastic.
The second picture is of the contents of a different chick that was found to have greater than a half pound of plastic in its stomach.
(source)

The first picture is of the carcass of a Laysan Albatross chick. It’s obvious what killed the chick: the fact that the only thing in its stomach was garbage.

Albatrosses fly hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles in search of food for their chicks. They look for squid and fish eggs floating on the surface of the water. Unfortunately, plastic floats, and Laysan albatross are particularly attracted to it. They eat it, mistaking if for food, then they fly back to the nest and feed bottle caps, lighters, fishing lures and other pieces of plastic to their young. The chicks starve to death, with stomachs full of plastic.

The second picture is of the contents of a different chick that was found to have greater than a half pound of plastic in its stomach.

(source)

13th April 2012
Oceanic trash has been growing tenfold every decade since 1950. The two pictures shown above are of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a part of the ocean twice the size of Texas that is just, well, garbage. Its biggest constituents are plastics, which can take hundreds of years to degrade. For every pound of plankton in the ocean, there are six pounds of non-biodegradable plastics. Oceanic trash has been growing tenfold every decade since 1950. The two pictures shown above are of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a part of the ocean twice the size of Texas that is just, well, garbage. Its biggest constituents are plastics, which can take hundreds of years to degrade. For every pound of plankton in the ocean, there are six pounds of non-biodegradable plastics.

Oceanic trash has been growing tenfold every decade since 1950. The two pictures shown above are of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a part of the ocean twice the size of Texas that is just, well, garbage. Its biggest constituents are plastics, which can take hundreds of years to degrade. For every pound of plankton in the ocean, there are six pounds of non-biodegradable plastics.


I am Ashley, an incredibly introverted environmental enthusiast.
I'm studying to be a marine biologist.
I have a fierce love for all living things, a very broad sense of humor, and I'm likely too passionate for my own good.
Herein you'll find animals (especially creepy-crawlies), nature, science, art, some of my own photography, and occasionally a scattering of personal posts.
I'm an avid reader and music-listener, so suggestions are always welcome (you can check out my last.fm if you're interested).
I source all of my own posts unless it's my content, in which case I tag it "personal."
But that tag is littered with a bunch of other, boring things as well, so peruse with caution.

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