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The Earth Is Infected With Humans

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The Earth is Infected with Humans

Years of pollution by dumping wastes into the waters and filling the skies with carbon dioxide have had a direct impact on the planet. The Earth is warming at an alarming rate and entire animal ecosystems are being destroyed. Humans have adapted their surroundings to suite their needs instead of adapting to suite their surroundings and by doing so have doomed the entire planet. The most intelligent species on the planet has brought about the destruction of the earth.

The ocean and atmosphere create an extremely complex system of heat and carbon management. With the advent of the industrial revolution and the creation of automobiles the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased drastically. Never before in the history of planet earth have carbon dioxide levels raised so drastically. Increased CO2 levels threaten to put the carbon cycle out of balance.

The carbon cycle is a complex exchange and movement of carbon from the atmosphere, crust, ocean and space. Carbon undergoes various chemical and physical changes to make the transition to and from each reservoir. The earth’s ocean holds the most amount of carbon, approximately 36,000 gigatonnes, which is readily exchanged with the atmosphere. Carbon from the deep sections of the ocean do not enter the atmosphere as regularly because the cool temperatures on the oceans bottom. This storage of carbon significantly slows the effects of global warming.

There are many ways the oceans acts as a “sink” for carbon dioxide. At the north and south poles the water becomes much cooler allowing carbonic acid to be formed. The dense ocean water on the surface then gets transported and stored in the deep ocean by means of the thermohaline circulation. Micro-organisms are also able to create their shells out of the carbonates in the sea water. When the organisms die their shells float down to the deep ocean floor to be stored.

Global warming causes ocean temperatures to rise making the seawater less dense and less able to hold carbon. Melting polar ice caps cause fresh water to enter the ocean. The fresh water is more dense then ocean water so it will float, which will slow the time it takes for carbon to enter the deep ocean. Rising water temperatures also have a significant effect on marine animals and their ecosystems. Fish and other animals will no longer be able to find a suitable habitat and die out, removing a vital link in the food chain. Coral reefs and other tropical bionetworks are also dieing due to the heat stress.

People, animals, and plants have been affected by the melting polar ice caps. Animals such as polar bears, whales, walrus and seals are forced to change their feeding and migration routines. Therefore, it is much harder for the native people to hunt these animals. Another affect of the melting ice is the danger of villages on the coast. The melting ice cause’s fear of flooding so most villagers have to move. This is a big problem for the native Arctic people.

Another problem created by humans is the astonishing amount of trash in the oceans. The trash is gathered up in moving currents known as gyres, where debris can be held for centuries. This flotsam is continually spreading trash throughout the work “killing sea life, choking birds and fish and entangling seals and seal lions” (Kay 4).

The North Pacific subtropical gyre can be found halfway between Hawaii and San Francisco. It is a swirling vortex of currents moving in a clockwise pattern that coves approximately ten million square miles, an area the size of Texas, in the Pacific Ocean. The rotation of the vortex creates a calm area in the ocean which “becomes a collection basin for plastics and other litter” (Kay 5). This is one of the five gyres that exist around the world.

“About four-fifths of marine trash comes from land” (Weiss 16) washed from highways and city streets by rain, pushed down rivers and then moved out to sea. Ships also add to the sea waste by contributing fishing lines and other items dumped illegally. “Nearly 90 percent of floating marine litter is plastic” (Weiss 16) or other materials that take a long time to decompose. Chemicals such as “flame retardants, PCBs, Pesticides and pharmaceuticals” (Weiss 16) line



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