CHAPTER 9: ENDANGERED ECOSYSTEM

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Green House Effect

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The greenhouse effect is the phenomenon of an increase in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This due to the heat that is absorbed and trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere by certain gases(greenhouse gases) such as carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbon and nitrogen dioxide.

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These greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, trap and absorb heat in the atmosphere, causing a rise in the temperature of the atmosphere. As a result, the Earth’s temperature increases causing global warming. The following human activities can increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to cause a greenhouse effect: a) Burning of fuels in factories b) Forest fires c) Deforestation d) Open burning of rubbish e) Coal-fueled power stations f) Motor vehicles g) Use of chlorofluorocarbon(CFC)

1.1

Thinning of the ozone layer

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The ozone layer is located at the atmospheric layer called the stratosphere which is 20 – 50km away from the Earth’s surface. The ozone layer absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays and prevents them from reaching the Earth’s surface. Today, the ozone layer is becoming thinner because of the destruction of the ozone gas.

Disturbs the ecological balance by destroying aquatic organisms such as planktons.     The atmosphere in this area has very low ozone concentrations. CFCs are a group of chemical compounds that contain chlorine. There is also convincing evidence from research that links the melting of the polar ice caps into global warming. resulting in the formation of an ozone hole. This in turn leads to a corresponding rise in sea levels. . The destruction of the ozone layer is mainly due to the increasing levels of chlorofluorocarbon(CFC) in the atmosphere. c) On human health o o o Causes skin cancer Damages eyesight and causes cataract Weakens the human immune system 1. as propellants in aerosol cans and as foaming agents in the making of styrofoam packaging. Effects of the thinning of the ozone layer which allows excessive ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth. These gases are used as coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators. carbon and fluorine. b) On plants The rate of photosynthesis decreases due to the destruction of the stomata and chlorophyll in the leaves. a) On the environment o o o o o Increases in the temperature of the environment Changes in the climate and weather patterns Changes in wind direction.2 Impact of the thinning of the ozone layer and the global warming    The average increase in the Earth’s temperature could change weather patterns and agricultural output.

D is used as a measure of the amount of certain types of organic pollutants in water.D can be used to measure the level of water pollution. the plants in the water die. pond or rivers. This prevents sunlight from reaching the plants in the lower depths of the water.       The algae that grow extensively cover up the surface of the lake. The number of aerobic bacteria that decompose the dead plants also increases using more of the oxygen in the water. This reduces the concentration of oxygen in the water and results in the death of aquatic organisms. As a result.O. They promote rapid growth of algae and subsequently a rapid increase in the population of algae. the ozone layer shields living organisms on Earth from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.O. pond or river. B. Hence.O.0 Eutrophication process   Eutrophication occurs as a result of an abundant supply of fertilizers or sewage in lakes. A high B.D indicates the presence of a large number of microorganisms which suggest a high level of pollution. Fertilizers and sewage contain high concentration of nitrates and phosphates which encourage eutrophication. 2. 3.O. .O. By absorbing most of the ultraviolet radiation.0 Biochemical Oxygen Demand (B.D)    Biochemical oxygen demand is the amount of oxygen taken up by the microorganisms (bacteria and algae) that decompose organic waste matter in water.D). The rapid growth of the algae and the process of decomposition by the bacteria use up the oxygen supply in the water and thus increase the biochemical oxygen demand(B. B.

O. Biological control is usually used in agriculture to control populations of pests without the use of pesticides. Methylene blue solution is used to analyse the presence of oxygen in water. 4. Polluted water contains a large amount of organic waste matter. a) Does not pollute the environment b) Does not kill other organisms c) Is cheap and safe to use  The two types of interaction that happen in biological control are a) Parasitism – the parasite destroys crops b) Prey-predator – eventually removes the pest  For example. Biological control has many advantages as compared to using pesticides.0 Biological control     Biological control is a method in which a predator.D value of less than 0. a) Owls and snakes eat rats b) Fire ants eat aphids on leaves c) Rearing guppies in a pond to eat mosquitoe larvae d) Rearing cats to eliminate rats.  The higher the B.D value is high. the more polluted is the water sample.D value. This process of decomposition requires oxygen.O. As a result. is used to control the population of that pest in an area.O. The concentration of oxygen in the water is low.5mg of oxygen per litre. which is a natural enemy to a certain pest(prey). The prey-predator interaction is applied in biological control. much oxygen supply in the water is used up and the B. .   Good quality water has a B.