Archive for June, 2009


Against GM Foods

Genetically modified (GM) foods are not being found to be safe for humans, or for the environment. There are a number of reasons why there a growing number of people are against GM foods. Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe? The reason to resist the growth of GM food in our diet is that it has a negative impact on our environment; plants and animals grown organically are not distorting their genetic makeup.

And in the rush to accelerate the production of genetically modified foods, scientists are short cutting testing methods. Recently, the United States Tufts University, School of Medicine was involved in testing the effects of genetically modified rice directly on children (by-passing the usual practice of testing on animals). This direct testing on children created controversy and a formal letter of protest from 22 international scientists to the University; the protest letter has been made public through various social media. 
 
The letter protested the use of children as a breach of medical ethics code since children cannot legally give their consent (since it is not deemed to be informed consent) to participate in experiments. As Professor David Schubert, Salk Institute of Biological Studies said, “…it is completely immoral to feed this rice to children without proper safety testing … [i]t’s like putting a new drug on the market with no toxicology or safety trials”.
 
In defense of their position, the Golden Rice Organization issued a press release that states they “…us[ed] the correct Chinese and US government approved processes, the trials in China went ahead last year with the formal approval of their parents and the understanding of the children”.   How do children understand the impact of genetically modified food on themselves or the environment? It’s a complex subject that many adults have a hard time understanding. Also, how can anyone (parents, children, or testing scientists) understand what the long term effects of genetically modified “golden rice” are on the human body without prior study or testing? 
 
More importantly, will the overall risks of genetically modified foods over time out weigh the alleged benefits? Farmers have cross-bred plants and animals for hundreds of years to improve their products. Improvements to size, produce yield, taste, hardiness have been achieved through relatively natural means and within nature’s own boundaries; different species were not bred together.
 
With the discovery of DNA and a method of gene extraction, the concept of genetic modification was born. The intent of genetic modification is to create food that grows quickly, yields much, is resistant to pests, to disease, and to other natural events. However a number of scientists respond that the benefits are not worth the risks; genetically modified foods often become resistant to herbicides and pesticides requiring ever increasing amounts. There is the suspicion (still unproven) that pollinating bees have been affected by the increasing use of these chemicals and that both pollinator and predator species have been affected by the genetically modified crops (also known as transgenic crops) through habitat destruction and use of dangerous herbicides and pesticides. 
 
Since the introduction of genetically modified foods, some scientists are reporting that food-related illness has increased. The only published human feeding study confirmed that genetic material in genetically modified soy transferred into the DNA of intestinal bacteria and continued to function. What long term impact will these foods have on the population and the environment?  There are many more potential risks in the development of genetically modified foods. Animals that were fed genetically modified feed appeared to suffer from increases in fetal death, low birth weight, sterility, and more. The concern is that human reproductive failure and sterility or infertility will be long term consequences to using GM foods.
 
In the US, the Department of Agriculture reports that cotton and corn crops have been genetically modified to produce their own Bt toxins since 1996. Bt modified crops are insecticidal crystal proteins and are considered effective against crop-damaging caterpillars. The toxins are considered important for pest control and since resistance to herbicides and pesticides is growing, the sentiment is that these genetically engineered Bt toxins will help to protect the crops. The issue with the GM Bt toxins is that they are considered serious allergens; ever wonder why so many more children and adults are exhibiting allergic reactions than ever before?
 

The problem with genetically modified foods is that there is also a reaction for the action; unfortunately, globally, in our rush to grow food supplies, we have not taken the time to properly test and research the long term impacts and effects of genetically modified foods. It is easy to be against GM foods - our planet is at risk.

To read more about genetically modified foods and the healthy alternative – organic foods, please visit Is Organic Food Better?
Kris Bovay is the owner of Voice Marketing Inc, the business and marketing services company, with a difference. She is also the owner of a small business website, more-for-small-business.com and an organic food website, Organic Food For Everyone. Kris has 25 years of experience in leading large, medium and small businesses … and a life-long passion for healthy food and a healthy environment. Copyright 2008 – 2009 Voice Marketing Inc.

Free Energy Economics


Bp Solar Panel Blaze Raises Concerns | News | Solarplaza | The …

Fresh concerns have emerged over the future of BP’s alternative energy business after a fire broke out at one of the company’s largest solar power installations in Germany.


World's First Solar-Powered Plane Unveiled

Unlike the first nonstop round-the-globe balloon trip which Mr Piccard co-piloted in 1999, the solar flight will have to make stops to allow for pilots to switch over and stretch after long periods in the cramped cockpit. …


How To Make Do It Yourself Solar Power System To Save On Electricity

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TG Daily (c) – Solar-powered plane prepares for world's first …

TG Daily, Solar-powered plane prepares for world’s first night flight.


Adventurer Unveils Solar-Powered Plane for Around-the-World Flight

Wired reports that Piccard will soon attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft that weighs about as much as a small car and has the wingspan of a Boeing 747. While only a prototype at this point, the HB-SIA Solar


Green Technology

The Holy Grail of Reduction

The hard truth is that we all need to reduce. Reduce the amount of money we spend. Reduce the amount of food we eat…and our waistlines. And reduce the amount of stuff we throw away. In fact new we look at the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle, they are actually in that order for a reason. It is a hierarchy for a reason and reduce is the Holy Grail. Put in its simplest terms reduce means that we use less of the earth’s resources and in any environmental scheme should be our first priority.

That said, it is also the hardest to accomplish. When I thought about all the things we do to be greener, the number of examples of reducing stumped me. I suppose the most obvious example of our efforts to reduce was the decision some months ago, not to purchase an automobile. My husband has the use of a company van, but even that is rarely used. The difficulty comes when we want to go anywhere as a family. The work van has only one bucket seat in the front that fits three people. Obviously this presents difficulties. Even on our Saturday shopping trips with my mother-in-law, I end up sitting in the back of van; a solution that is both dangerous and illegal for the children. About a year ago, when I was working full-time, we were seriously considering buying a vehicle. But in the end, we thought the expense was too much when you consider not just payments, but insurance, road tax, maintenance and gas. Instead, we signed up for StreetCar; a car rental scheme that you pay a monthly fee to join and an hourly or daily rate only when you need to use a car or van. Looking back, that was one of the best decisions we have made both for the environment and family finances.

The other obvious example I found of reduction was our decision a year ago to switch to bags for life. We now have a stack of them beneath our kitchen sink and faithfully use them for our Saturday shops. But I do admit to occasionally forgetting them when just running out to grab something quickly. When this happens though, we make certain to re-use (we’ll talk more about that tomorrow) any plastic bags we get for outings or for small bin liners. Did you know that in the UK alone 100,000 TONNES of plastic bags are thrown away each year; that is the equivalent of 70,000 cars? So if there is one thing, I can encourage you to do, it is purchase bags for life. My store sells the sturdy plastic ones for about forty pence, the jute ones are about a pound, and the pretty cloth ones are about three pounds with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Or it is very simple to make your own if you sew.

Speaking of which, sewing and mending our clothes is another excellent way of reducing. My boys from my husband to my sons are always wearing holes in their jeans on the inside thighs. Before the economic downturn, I admit we were likely to just toss them out and purchase new ones. But since I have not been working, we have instead taken them to the drycleaners and had them patched. The cost of the repairs is less than the cost of purchasing new (although I am committed to mending them myself from now on…a further savings). And we have reduced in a very small way the demand for jeans.

Of course, as I sit at my desk in my bedroom I am witnessing another reduction…the daylight streaming in through the open curtains. One of the first things I do each morning is open the curtains and the blinds. By using natural light when and where possible, we are reducing the amount of electricity that we consume and that the power grids must generate. We are also of course saving money on our bills. My husband is a genius at this; going around and turning off and unplugging everything he can each night before bed. I admit though that being American this whole switch on the plug thing still gets me and I often forget to do that, but I am improving. Of course, another example was turning down our thermostat during the winter and wearing heavier layers of clothes instead. In fact, I can think of only a couple of days this winter when we turned our heat on before night fall at all.

These are just a few ideas of ways that our family is reducing. There are many other things that we and you can do to cut back on the things we consume and help save our earth’s precious resources. On Friday as I said, we will do a mini-inventory and I will commit to new ideas on how our family can better live the 3 R’s reduce, re-use, recycle. I will be especially focusing on reducing since this is the most important of the R’s.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.

Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.

Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.


Buy Used: Green Tip

A lot goes into making new products; energy, fuel, non organic materials and more. If we buy more items used, we will use less of the things that contribute to hurting God’s planet. Plus, we are being good stewards by making the most of everything we buy and use!

Some things we can buy used:

* movies. what’s the difference, really. used is cheaper, the same and better for the planet.

* music. see above.

* clothes. thrift stores can save you tons of money as well.

* books. buy them used or go to the library.

* cars. how used is up to you.

* furniture and appliances. garage sales and eBay are great places to start.

* homes. old houses are cool anyway.

* household items. there are many items you can pick up at a local good will or garage sale that are just as nice as going to the store and buying new.

* electronics. just be careful and always try it our before you buy.

* bikes. have you ever seen the price tag for a new bike recently. yikes! buy used and ride the bike as often as you can instead of driving. Double green for your trouble! lol.

* video games and systems. places like game stop are great. you can buy used, beat the game and then trade it in for another used game. too cool, right?

* toys. obviously clean and good condition are key here. if you look you can find some goodies. i have found a lot of cute items that my kids love.

As you can see, there are many ways we can help contribute to being good stewards of God’s planet. Including, buying used and spending our money wisely!

Copyright © Green Christian Network, All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Cindy Taylor is a Christian stay at home Mom who love the Lord and cares about God’s planet. You can see her passion and writing at her website, Green Christian Network (http://greenchristiannetwork.com).

Free Energy Economics


Solar Energy Initiatives Announces Securing Land To Build Up To 18 …

Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc. (OTCBB: SNRY), executing on a grass roots campaign, “RENEW THE NATION”, to help redeploy a portion of the US work force and focus on reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels by selling solar thermal …


What does solar want? Lots. « Marc Gunther

That’s what made a solar-industry breakfast, hosted today by Dow Corning, so interesting. Dow Corning, a major supplier to the solar industry, and its allies, including Abengoa Solar, BP Solar, Kyocera, Sanyo and Schott, …


Siemens Mulls Buying Israeli Solar Company Solel | Green Prophet

German industrial giant Siemens is now involved in talks to purchase the Israeli Solel Solar Energy Ltd., according to an article published in Globes,


How to Get a Solar Roof for 80% Off : CleanTechnica

Louisiana has a state tax credit of 50% for solar roof installations, the most generous state subsidy for solar â?? Combined with the 30% Federal tax credit for solar that we all get now; (you knew about that, right? …


Future festival goers in for solar tenting treat

Orange has announced a concept design for a new solar powered gadget tent.


Your Second Hand Clothes: Recycle

Landfill in the UK is becoming a huge problem. With the drop in the price of recycled products, the issue is what to do with all of the waste that we produce. The breakdown of waste in landfill sites creates huge amounts of the greenhouse gas methane. There are also many products that will not breakdown and will remain in the environment for ever with the potential to contaminate water supplies.

Traid, a charity specializing in the recycling of textiles reports that 900,000 tons of shoes and clothing are thrown away each year in the UK. Only 200,000 tons per year are recycled and the rest is dumped in landfill. The government estimates that similar amounts of between 550,000 and 900,000 tons of textiles are thrown away each year.

In addition to the problems of waste and landfill in the UK, there is also the consideration of the energy used and waste generated by the manufacture and distribution of clothing and textiles. Growth of cotton uses a huge amount of chemical pesticides and environmentally damaging cultivation methods. The manufacture of man made fabrics also has a huge environmental impact with. Demand for polyester the most widely used synthetic fabric has almost doubled in the last 15 years. The manufacture of polyester uses large amounts of crude oil and an energy-intensive process. It releases emissions including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, all of which can cause health problems for workers by causing or aggravating respiratory disease.

Second hand clothing is becoming more popular as people begin to recognise the real costs of fast fashion. Consumers are becoming more aware of their buying choices and ways that they can help the environment.

Finally, there is one more great reason to recycle second hand clothing. Just because you are fed up with a piece of clothing or it does not fit you nay more, it does not mean that it has no worth. You can make sure that the worth of your second hand clothing is realized by swapping it at a swishing party on a clothes swapping website, selling it or donating it to your favorite charity.

This article was written by Ceri Heathcote for posh-swaps.com, a website for swapping, buying and selling second hand and vintage clothing.

Clothes swapping and buying and selling second hand clothes is a great way to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment and to save money.

LAUGH OR CRY TV


Future festival goers in for solar tenting treat

Orange has announced a concept design for a new solar powered gadget tent.


What does solar want? Lots. « Marc Gunther

That’s what made a solar-industry breakfast, hosted today by Dow Corning, so interesting. Dow Corning, a major supplier to the solar industry, and its allies, including Abengoa Solar, BP Solar, Kyocera, Sanyo and Schott, …


Solar Tent Charges Your Phone, Glows So You Can Find It | Popular …

The Orange Solar Concept Tent, which will debut in the UK starting today, in time for the Glastonbury rock festival, tackles these critical problems. The tent uses “solar threads” woven into the fabric to collect energy. …


Solar powered LED Cap brims with light

The Solar Light Cap collects energy from the sun via a solar panel on the top of the beak to power two LED’s located on the underside of the beak …


Summer Time Solar Showering : Blisstree – Family, Health, Home and …

Now is the perfect time to get a solar shower! It’s hot, you’ve got the sunshine at your ready disposal, showering via the sun will save you money on energy, and if you love camping, there are portable options too, which if you ask me, …


Green Energy Technologies

Go Green – Get Rid of Junk Mail

Four million tons of junk mail is sent every year…at least half of which is never even opened. You probably are aware that your name, address, and spending habits are regularly being traded and sold on the open market.  By investing half an hour now, you can rid yourself of most of the junk mail for up to five years…and save a few trees while you’re doing it.

So here are a few tips that you can work on to lessen the load of junk you get every day:

  • Product warranty cards do not register your product…that was done when you purchased it. They are used to fin out about your interests and your income for the sole purpose of junk mail.
  • When ordering something on the phone, tell them specifically to not give your name and address to other companies for any reason.
  • Any time you donate money or order a product or service by mail, write on it in large letters, telling them not to sell your name and address.
  • When the junk come by first class mail, cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write “refused: return to sender”.
  • Your credit card companies are the worst offenders and probably sell your name and address more than anyone else. Stopping them is easy; you just need your address and social security number. One call does it all for agencies Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. Dial 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day.

Lisa is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company (http://www.liti4.com), public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa’s blog from her website: http://www.freelancewriter4hire.com


Temple Mecca Black Stone

What it Really Is: Recycling

Recycling has become the catch all phrase often used in place of the 3 R’s. But in its truest form recycling means taking one thing and changing it, usually chemically, into another. This is not to say that recycling is without value; it is certainly better than putting the items in the bin where they will end up in landfills and leach chemicals into our ground water. It is though to say that before you place anything in the recycle bag, first consider if you could reduce or re-use it, because everything that ends up in the recycling bag will have to be altered before it can be used again. Even then it is cleaner to produce goods from recyclables than from raw materials.

Here are just a few reasons to make certain that after you have reduced the amount of waste your create and re-used as many things as possible that your family puts as many things as possible into the recycling bins:

  • Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
  • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
  • A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose — and even longer if it’s in the landfill.

Today is the actually a great day to talk about recycling. Each Thursday the council sends around men to collect our recyclables. The council gives us re-usable sacks, which we can use to collect all paper, cardboard, tin cans, aluminium, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles. Unfortunately, they do not over recycling for other plastics. As I have been writing this series of blogs that has been one thing that I have been especially mindful of: how much plastic packaging manufacturers use that cannot be recycled and that it is estimated takes over 500 years to decompose in landfills.

But it is not just our plastics, glass, metals and paper that we recycle. Thanks to a wonderful programme through the Islington council, last year we were able to purchase a subsidized wormery to recycle our food waste into compost and liquid fertilizer for growing my own food. Actually, even though we may think that food thrown into the bin will degrade relatively quickly in the landfills, the biggest problem is the amount of methane, a dangerous green house gas, which it produces in that time. Methane is twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major contribute to climate change. While my wormery cannot accommodate meat products I put all peels and unused fruits and vegetables into it. I should soon be harvesting my first patch of compost…just in time for my summer garden.

So how does my family do on recycling? Not too bad honestly. This week we had two bags of recyables and will only have two half full 13 gallon bin bags of other rubbish. Actually hubby and I got into a minor disagreement over the trash last night. One of the first rules of the 3R’s is to only throw out your garbage when the bag is full. In our case though, it had begun to smell. I am still looking for a solution…if anyone has ideas they would be greatly appreciated. But for a family of three adults and one pre-schoolers two large bags of recycling and one full 13 gallon bin bag in a week is pretty good I think. I imagine that there are single people, who put more than one bag in the bin each week.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.

Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.

Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.


Green Technology

New 3 R’s

I was back in the grocery store this Saturday, but it was not the prices (although I did manage to keep it under ninety pounds once again) that caught my eye or even what other people were buying. In fact, what I noticed this Saturday did not happen until I was home and unpacking my weekly shopping. What I noticed was the amount of packaging, most of it useless, that I put into the bin. Of course, we have been using our green bags for over a year now so we are not throwing very many plastic ones away. Well, in fact we don’t really throw any away, because we try to follow the adage…Reduce, re-use, re-cycle. I want to look at how the 3 R’s of reduce, re-use, recycle fits into all of the Frugal Fam core values.

Family first. Since we are our children’s first and best teachers, I think that the time we invest in teaching them about all things environmental is an excellent investment in our futures and theirs. Isn’t it ironic that reduce, re-use, recycle could become the new 3 R’s. In fact so I don’t wear out my fingers re-typing it all over and over again, let’s us that term in the rest of the article to refer to reduce, re-use, recycle. It is never too early to begin either. At three, my daughter knows the difference between the bin and the recycle bag (sometimes better than my eighteen year old).

Saving money. In fact, in the UK most councils offer free recycling facilities to all residents, which means that recycling costs us nothing. There are examples too of how recycling can actually save you money though, such as my wormary, which produces organic liquid fertiliser and compost or reducing your energy consumption by turning down the thermostat. And as I have shown in past post about Freecycle, charity shops and similar services, you can save a great deal of money by re-using items that someone else may no long need.

But in the USA recycling too can actually pay money. Although not as easy for many American families to place bags or special bins on the stoop (although some forward thinking counties and cities are offering curb-side recycling as in the UK), the profit from this activity can be used to fund extras or meet essential obligations. Before I left Los Angeles in 2006, there were increasingly mini-recycling centres often in the parking lots of grocery stores. Families could take their paper, metal and plastic products and turn them into paper…paper money that is. In some ways this is more incentive to recycle than the UK system. What if your family could pay for its holiday through recycling? Perhaps even clean up your street? I know that my three years old loves helping me to pick up trash in her park. Could your family do something similar?

Environmentally friendly. Like I said, the 3 R’s are among the basics of environmentally friendly. It is one of the easiest things that we can all do to save this special planet for our children and grand-children. Alright, we have all heard the pundits talk about how recycling does not make a difference. So to clear up a few of those myths:

  • Enough energy is saved by recycling one aluminium can to run a TV set for three hours.
  • A steel mill which uses recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by at least 70 percent.
  • Creating one ton of recycled paper uses only about 60 percent of the energy needed to make a ton of virgin paper.
  • Seventeen trees are saved for each ton of recycled newspaper.
  • Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74 percent of the energy necessary to produce them.
  • Today most bottles and jars contain at least 25 percent recycled glass.

Healthy living. It may not be immediately obvious how the 3 R’s can make you healthier, but I have a couple of examples:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by walking to school, the store and anywhere else you can…also increases the amount of exercise you are getting. Walking is actually one of the best exercises there is.
  • Eating fresher often means that there is less packaging as frozen, tinned and jarred products, which produce more waste also, are likely to have more added salts, sugars and preservatives.
  • Reducing the carbon miles of your food by growing your own fruits and vegetables also allows you to grow them organically as well as having the benefit of reducing your stress through the pleasurable hobby of gardening.

Now that we have talked about how the 3R’s of reduce, re-use and recycle keep with the Frugal Fam core values, I hope that each of you will join me in this journey and share your ideas for Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.

Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.

Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.


Antarctic Peninsula Climate

Antarctic Peninsula has been experiencing warming trends for over 40 years with an increase of 2-3 C, thus correlating with lower sea ice conditions in the Amundsen Sea and Bellinghausen Sea. Warming temperatures around the Antarctic Peninsula is changing the dynamics of the ecosystem. The rise in atmospheric temperature is causing increasing in melting of freshwater glaciers and ice shelves. Fresh water emerging into the sea counteracts the salinity within a regional area. Changes identified are;

• Decrease in sea water salinity up to 60 miles offshore
• Lower sea ice
• Decreased krill population
• Increased salp (open ocean tunicate that is reminiscent of a jelly-fish) population
• Increase in cryptophytes (single cell phytoplankton algae)
• Decrease in diatom phytoplankton
• Increase in carbon sequestering in deep ocean sinks
• Decrease in carbon availability in the food chain

The Antarctic Krill (Euphausia superba), a small shrimp like crustacean is the most important zooplankton species associated with the sea ice and plays a crucial role in the Antarctic food web. On a regional basis the amount of krill appear to be declining in the southern ocean. There are definitely lower trends in krill population during lower sea ice years around Antarctica. Part of the rational for the population decline is that ice algae rely on the sea ice for protection and growth. The krill need the sea ice in order to feed on the algae and phytoplankton.

Krill occur in groups or large swarms. They are less than 3 inches in size and feed primarily on phytoplankton and sea ice algae. Krill filter diatom phytoplankton out of the water column and scrape algae from the sea ice. Apart from frequenting the sea ice to feed, krill in particular juveniles, seek protection from predators in the many nooks and crannies formed by the deformed sea ice floes. Krill is the staple food of many fish, birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. The biomass of Antarctic krill is considered to be larger than that of the earth’s human population.

Sea- ice algae utilizes atmospheric carbon dioxide for its energy source, the same as plants do on land. Krill diet of the sea-ice algae and phytoplankton is essential for converting the carbon for use in higher animals such as fish, birds, and whales. This carbon conversion is a very critical role in predatory nutrition. Additionally krill do eliminate some of the silica from the diatom shells and carbon in sticky balls that sinks nearly two miles into the deep ocean. These cold, deep waters are able to contain carbon dioxide and prevent the gas from rising to the surface, thus immobilizing carbon that is not passed into the food chain.

In recent years there have been increases in algae phytoplankton called cryptophytes. Mark Moline, California Polytechnic State University, states that the cryptophyte population correlates with warmer temperatures and lower salinity waters that are produced by the melting of the freshwater glacier. Cryptophytes measure around 2 mm, while other plankton in the Antarctic waters are much larger and measure 15 to 270 mm. Along with the increase in cryptophyte population an increase in salp, a pelagic tunicate, population has also occurred. There are differences between salps and krill. Salps feeding efficiency is capable of grazing on smaller food sources less than 4mm, whereas, the Antarctic Krill efficiency declines on any food less than 20 mm. The salps compete with krill for the phytoplankton and thus decrease the krill population. Additionally the salps feed on krill larvae, which also cause a decline in krill numbers.

The warming trend in the Antarctic Peninsula is showing a pattern of increasing cryptophytes over other phytoplankton and the increase in the salp. This influence is due to the low sea ice and the lowering of the salinity in the seawater. Salps and cryptophytes do better in the lower salinity, while the krill and other plankton are unable to tolerate the increased freshwater regime from the glacier ice melts. This selectivity gives preference to the salps as the dominant species while decreasing krill abundance. During lower sea ice seasons the density of krill declines while the salp population increases.

Carbon sequestering into the deep ocean from the algae and phytoplankton occur by both the salp and krill. Both species eliminate the atmospheric carbon received from the primary producing algae by producing fecal pellets by the salps and sticky balls by the krill, thereby, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The salps though sequester more carbon into the cold deep ocean than the krill. However, the krill provides the most efficient pathway for carbon transfer up into the food chain. The cryptophyte dominated waters are less efficient in the food chain due to increased feeding by salps and the difficulty of the krill to utilize the cryptophytes as a food source. Migration patterns by penguins are changing, in part due to the changing krill population. Krill is a mainstay diet for penguins, and if the krill population changes, many other ecological changes occur with it.

Steve Bynum has worked at Palmer Station along the Antarctic Peninsula. He not only enjoyed the ecosystem along the Bellinghausen Sea but he has also witnessed the changing climate conditions.

Join Steve at http://www.climatechangenewsletters.com as we take a journey to discover the warming and cooling effects of our planet.

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Planet – Sell Your Laptops

We’re in this environmental mess because humans have exploited the earth for personal gain. However, you can sell your laptops, get some grocery money and still help the planet.

Steer clear of the attitude that everything is disposable after a few uses; do your part and extract the most out of your electronics. In carelessly tossing away our possessions, we are the reason that one more thing spends an eternity in a landfill. Electronics, including laptops, are one of the most significant sources of toxic heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury, leaking into the soil, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pollutants do no simply stay within the confines of the landfills, but are transported through waterways and through the air. When toxic metals travel upward during evaporation, these toxins contribute to acid rain, spreading the heavy metals for miles. Dr. Lorris G. Cockerham, former professor at University of Arkansas and researcher, wrote that build up of toxic heavy metals in animals damages their vital functions and hinders growth in plants, therefore irrevocably harms ecosystems.

The heavy metals seep into waterways and into our water sources. These heavy metals can enter our body through the ingestion of contaminated water, harming our bodies. Even a low concentration can harm us, according to James Girard, author and professor at the American University.

A solution? Sell your laptops to a recycler. When you sell your laptops, the laptop parts find new life with computer repair shops and wholesalers, avoiding certain doom in a landfill. Selling laptops is an easy process for the average time-constrained American worker. Search for “sell laptops” on the Internet. Locate a recycling company who will accept the laptops you are selling. Lastly, look for the V logo that signifies the company is verified organization, not a Nigerian scam. Many business will offer an instant quote on their Web site for the laptop you are selling. Input the specifications of your laptop, follow directions and you have check or a PayPal payment for your laptops.

Make sure you choose a reputable company to sell your laptops to. Some companies boast a “green” philosophy, but actually ship laptops to landfills in developing countries. We all have a part in this green earth and many of us have take steps to follow the mantra, “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Many people think about selling their cans, bottles and such and don’t think about their computers. Do your part, keep our Earth Green and sell your laptop.

Katy Marie is a freelance writer located in Reno, NV, who wants to keep the Earth beautiful. To find out more visit Cash For Laptops


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5 Easy Tips For Saving Money and Conserving Water

Everyone is looking for ways to save money and help conserve our natural resources. There are many methods that are easy to start in your own homes, but one very simple and obvious way to save is by reducing water consumption. Here are just a few easy water saving tips that you can begin doing today.

1.  Turn off running water in your sink or shower when you’re actually using the water. You can easily fill the sink with a enough water to wash your face, or fill a cup to brush your teeth. You may consider turning off the shower faucet while you’re washing your hair and then turn on again to rinse. Think about how much water is wasted. The same goes for dishes in the kitchen, turn off the water until you’re ready to rinse.

2.  There are low-water consumption toilets available that use only a couple of gallons of water each time they are flushed. If you have a standard toilet, one green living tip you may consider is placing a plastic bottle filled with sand into your toilet tank. This little trick helps the tank fill up faster and use less water.

3.  The laundry is another area where it is easy to waste water, and just as easy to save. Do your laundry in large loads rather than several smaller ones.

4. Limit your water waste outdoors. Don’t wash your car or driveway as often as you have been, and when you do, turn off the outside faucet until it’s time to rinse your car.

5. Look throughout your home, checking the faucets, toilets and pipes for any leaks. The very smallest of drips coming from a leaking pipe can eventually cost you a lot of money. Fix any leaks that you find.

If you are looking for simple ways to save the planet and save yourself money, start at home with these 5 easy steps. The planet and your wallet will thank you.

Learn more Green Living Tips and Ideas at http://greenlivingtipsandideas.com

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