The oil spil off the kimberly coastline in northern Western Australia is yet to be stopped. Experts are still trying to find a way to cap the leak which is estimated to be about 2000 mt below the ocean floor.
taken from the 'Australian Science Media Centre'
Professor John Buckeridge is Head of the School of Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at RMIT University, Melbourne.
“The concern for me is when the slick reaches the areas of high biodiversity along the shorelines and it’s there that there is greatest likely impact - on marine invertebrates in the shallow zone and on birds, it is also a breeding ground for many species. That is where the corals are, it is where a lot of the algae are, it is an area where filter feeders in particular can get clogged up with oil and organics. One of the rather interesting things that a lot of people forget is that the nature of these hydrocarbons is very complex, there are alkanes and alkenes many of which will have an effect on the metabolism, lifecycles and reproduction of some of these organisms. We are animals which function on chemistry and they are chemicals that can cause things to happen at the wrong time.
It is very light grade crude and it is evaporating quickly so hopefully slicks won’t reach the shore. If it evaporates or dissipates before it reaches the shore then it is less of a problem
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
There is an interesting subject I want to share with you that I read about in a local organic gardening magazine.
It is about saving the ancestors (the wild beginnings) of our produce trees. Fruits, nuts, all those delicious foods we take for granted. Many of thses trees originated from central Asia. Our food security could be jeopardised if we let these trees become extinct. One day we may need to resort back to these species to develop disease resistant or drought tolerant plants for growth.
It has been estimated that 90% of these forests have been destroyed in the last 50 years. Flora and Fauna International, Botanic Garden Conservation International and a few other organizations are working at the conservation of forests in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
To find a list of the threatened species go to www.globaltrees.org and look up the 'red list of trees of Central Asia'