Dirty Secrets (Pd 7) Group 6: Dangerous Brew
“Something is amiss in our global world water supply: Striped bass are succumbing to flesh-eating bacteria in Chesapeake Bay; seabird chicks are starving in Hawai‘i; coral reefs are weakening under a growing assault of invisible contaminants and an increasing variety of aquatic animals are showing signs of developmental disorders. Experts and citizens are racing to find clues to the causes—and the solutions. Find out how we all can make a difference.”
Research the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill of 1989. Give details on the event and the long-term effects in the area. Use the following website:
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill

Answers to Questions
What happened to the favorite coral reef for the diver in the video?
The favorite coral reef for the diver in the video has been bleached due to a rise in ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. The reef has also been broken from careless divers.

What has happened to ocean temperatures and what effect does that have on the coral?
Ocean temperatures have risen. Coral is very sensitive to environment changes, if the water around them gets too warm they get rid of their colorful partners called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are tiny one celled algae that live in coral. They take energy from the sun and convert it into food to feed the coral. In return the coral give them shelter. Without the zooxanthellae the coral will have no food and eventually die.

Explain ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification happens when CO2 from mixes with ocean water, it creates carbonic acid. Large amounts of carbonic acid can lower the ocean’s pH level.

How and why is ocean acidification changing?

The ocean acidification is changing because according to oceanographers the ocean has absorbed almost half of the world human-generated carbon emissions. These emissions come from cars and factories and thing like that.

What is predicted by the IPCC for the pH of the ocean in the future?

The IPCC predicts that is we continue with our current rate the pH level will drop another 0.4 units by 2100.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

The Exxon Valdez oil tanker was heading from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California, when it was traveling outside normal shipping lanes to avoid ice. Within six hours, Exxon Valdez spilled about 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude oil. It would eventually impact 1,100 non-continuous miles of Alaskan coastline.

The persistent nature of oil in sediments create long-term exposure risks from some species. Cascade effects, or indirect interactions are just as important as exposure. In fact, indirect interactions lengthen the recovery process on rocky shorelines. This is a reason why the Alaskan shorelines are impacted in the long run. Every eight months, the same amount of oil that was spilled in the Exxon Valdez oil spill goes into our oceans. We must try very hard to greatly reduce that number!

The following image is of Exxon Valdez bleeding oil. Notice how the water looks like it is turning purple. That would be the oil.

ExxonValdez1.jpg

Good job on the explanations. You could have given a little more background on the long term effects in the Valdez area after the oil spill and you need to cite your source for the picture.
70/75 points