For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about conservation and pollution
The principles of conservation and pollution
- Pollution is the release of products not worth recycling, so the extent of any pollution can be reduced by making producers pay the cost of dumping it.
- Many halogenated compounds are persistent in nature, in part because they are often soluble in fats, and so may be readily concentrated up the food chain.
- The polychlorinated biphenyls are persistent pollutants: the major problem with some persistent pollutants is bioaccumulation up the food chain.
- Treatment of sewage before it goes into rivers and lakes reduces eutrophication, and the better the treatment, the less eutrophication there will be.
- Large amounts of organic material increase the biological oxygen demand, whether the material comes from eutrophication, sewage, or dumping of waste.
- Atmospheric changes spread widely, even crossing the equator into the other hemisphere. Nobody owns the air, nobody has the right to pollute it.
- Some substances are biodegradable, which means levels in the environment slowly fall, though sometimes the products are still a problem in the environment.
- Eutrophication happens when water has too many nutrients, so plants grow faster than they can be eaten: when these die and rot, they may take all the oxygen.
- Salination is a problem with soils all over the world. In large part, it is caused by rising groundwater, itself caused by land-clearing that removes trees.
- An ozone hole results from ozone depletion caused by gases released elsewhere in the world: the main one is over the South Pole each southern summer.
- Ozone levels in the upper atmosphere are measured with a Dobson spectrophotometer, and these show that ozone levels are dropping, mainly over the Poles.
- Land (and soil) is a limited resource, all over the world, it is being degraded, so clearing is needed to get more, leading to a massive loss of habitat.
- Laterization is a common problem with soils. This involves the leaching of some of the more soluble soil components to leave iron and aluminium oxides.
- There is a limit to the sustainable yield from any ecosystem, sustainability here assuming that conditions will be fully preserved, so the system is unchanged.
- Many forms of so-called sustainable harvest do not take into account long-term damage done to soil, biodiversity, and nearby waterways, so are not sustainable.
- Aquaculture is a highly productive way of farming, but it brings many problems, mainly because it is intensive, and so produces large amounts of waste.
- Pests and feral species can be prevented from entering a new area by maintaining a suitable quarantine system to keep them and their seeds out.
- Pests and feral species which have arrived in an area can be prevented from breeding by use of the sterile male technique to limit any breeding that happens.
- Conservation of endangered species means maintaining their genetic diversity, but it also means maintaining biodiversity in habitats of many kinds.
- The world has many endangered species: some of them are probably more vital to our survival than others, but it is very hard to say which are which.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/, first created on February 17, 2009. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 17, 2009.
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