Environment at stake

Discarded Plastic Forms An Ecosystem At Sea

Marine student Elizabeth Lopez maneuvered a huge steel claw off the coast of San Diego. Her research confirms the presence of the plastisphere-a manmade ecosystem of plastic debris. The plastisphere was created due to the large amounts of plastic debris deposited. 70 pounds of plastic is generated by each individual annually which translates into 245 million tons of plastic per year. The effects of visible plastic debris have been well researched and documented. Marine animals that consume plastic can choke or starve. Furthermore, creatures in the plastisphere completely break down polyethylene and polypropylene, allowing dangerous chemicals to seep into the environment.

“Discarded Plastic Forms an Ecosystem at Sea.” Newsela, newsela.com/read/plastic-ocean/id/2308/ (http://newsela.com/read/plastic-ocean/id/2308/).

Taal volcano in the Philippines

Philippines’ second-most-active volcano gave indications of a possible “volcanic tsunami”. The explosion of the volcano, Taal happened months after it started exhibiting a state of unrest. A “hazardous eruption” may be approaching the Philippines as the alert level for the volcano, as stated by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology was a four out of five. Villagers were forced to evacuate and nearby communities were warned to take precautions. Fortunately, no physical damage has been inflicted on the villagers.

Gutierrez, Jason. “Warnings of ‘Volcanic Tsunami’ After Eruption in the Philippines.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/world/asia/philippines-taal-volcano.html?auth=link-dismiss-google1tap (http://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/world/asia/philippines-taal-volcano.html?auth=link-dismiss-google1tap).

Fires in Australia

The fires in Australia started in late December and burnt 687 acres of land. They have destroyed 2000 homes and thousands of citizens have been forced to relocate. The flames have caused the death of hundreds of animals and 27 people, including 3 voluntary firefighters. The southeastern regions of New South Wales and Victoria were most affected. The fire was the most active one in two decades and was fueled by extreme heat and dry wind. They serve as an indicator of the severe impacts of climate change. The destruction the fires have caused strongly remind mankind to take urgent action against global warming.

Popovich, Nadja. “Here’s Where Australia’s Destructive Wildfires Are Burning.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Jan. 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/02/climate/australia-fires-map.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article.

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