Rough Draft Paragraphs

April 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm (Uncategorized)

“Reefs are made of the calcium carbonate skeletons of the colonial coral polyp and as such represent a cycling and storage of CO2, essential for maintaining the balance in the atmosphere and ocean.” (Braasch, Gary 140). This quote relates to my topic becasue I am discussing how global warming has changed the oceans and how these changes affect ocean organisms. This quote is important becuase it shows that reefs are important to the oceans. The reefs maintain a balance and with a change in the ocean the reefs are dying. If the reefs die there can be disastrous changes, and the balance in the atmosphere and the ocean can be altered. It means that with a change in the oceans, there is a change in the reefs and the ocean animals and organisms are affected. This quote shows that there is a need for coral reefs and that the reefs play an important role in the oceanic ecosystem.

“In the well-mixed upper part of the ocean, where the absorption happens, the extra CO2 is gradually making the water more acidic – or, to be more precise, the water is becoming less alkaline.” (Henson, Robert 117). With the ocean becoming less alkaline, meaning less basic, everything that the ocean consits of can be changed and affected. With an increase in the abosrption of CO2 Coral reefs have to use what is called coral bleaching which allows the white skeleton of the coral to show in an effort to protect their tissue. If coral reefs use coral bleaching for a long period of time they cannot recover and will eventually die. Ocean acidification can affect the production of other ocean animals as well. The changing of the ocean, seems to have a domino effect, becuase one thing happens another problem arises as a result. If one animal is affected by ocean acidification another animals life can be altered and the cycle can continue.


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April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized)

     Global warming is the rising of the earths temperature causing changes to the world.  Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that trap the heat. With an increase in the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, the earth is becoming warmer, and the result is global warming. Global warming is what causes the ice caps to melt, it can cause drought, as well as floods or a greater number of hurricanes, there are endless possibilites to what can happen as a result of global warming. Global warming is a very braod topic and there are numerous things that can be discussed in relation to it, there is a great domino effect when it comes to global warming, one thing causes another.

     The oceans are one of the things that is changing most because of global warming.What types of changes are occuring to the oceans and can oceanic organisms survive and adapt to these new conditions?  Because of global warming, the polar ice caps, which is large masses of ice in the oceans, are melting. The melting ice caps disturbs the way animals live and is causing the ocean to become fresher. This melting of the ice caps leads to ocean acidification which is a drop in the oceans pH. Ocean animals may not be able to survive these changes. The melting of the ice caps however is not the only contributing factor to ocean acidification, with an increase in temperature the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, which causes an increase in the amount of the hydrogen ion in the ocean. With this change to the seas, ocean organisms are affected as a result. Ocean acidification has caused problems for coral reefs as well. Coral reefs try to protect their tissue by allowing the white of their skeleton to show, this is what is known as coral bleaching.  When coral reefs result to coral bleaching they lose the phoyosynthestic pigments. It can regain the pigment after a couple of months if the bleaching did not occur for a long period of time, however, if the loss of this pigment is extended then the coral reef cannot recover and it will die.

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Focus Terms and Concepts

April 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm (Uncategorized)

My focus is the effects on the ocean because of global warming. One of the sub topics i will focus on is coral reefs, they are a part of sea life and are disturb because of the chnages happening to the oceans. A term that will be needed when discussing coral reefs is coral bleaching. Coral bleaching according to the New England aquarium website is what occurs when

zooxanthellae abandon corals in response to high temperatures. Zooxanthellae which are photosynthesizing algae and cyanobacteria combined, provide more than 95% of the food of their coral hosts and give corlas their particular coloration. Under stress, corals expel these zooxanthellae, which leads to a bleached appearnce.

Coral bleaching is important because the rising temperature is what is causing the corla reefs to obtain these bleaching appearances however, corals can only last brief periods of coral bleaching, if the coral bleaching lasts for too long this can result in coral death. The coral allows the white skeleton to show in an attempt to protect its own tissue, by adding this definition to the resaearch paper people can understand that coral bleaching is a problem and when used correctly the definition can be an asset.

Another conecpt needed for my research paper is ocean acidification as well as calcification. Ocean acidification is an important concept because with an increase in the oceans acidity many animals are affected. Ocean acidification is a decrease in the oceans pH because of an increase of the amount of CO2 that is being absorbed by the ocean. Calcification is something that occurs because of acidification, calcification is the production of  calcium carbonate by microscopic ocean plants. Calcification is important because according to a blog post provided by EPOCA

calcium carbonate produced at the ocean surface is known to have a direct influence on the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Ice caps is a third term that is needed to be undertood for my focus, because with the melting of the ice caps the sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming fresher. An ice caps is a large mass of ice that is currently melting because of global warming. The melting of the ice caps can destroy the homes of many ocean animals. With a decrease in the amount of ice animals are disturbed, such as polar bears. According to the New England aquarium website:

Polar bears use ice as a platform for hunting their prey and for resting…. but sea ice is decreasing throughout their Artic range due to climate change. Ice reduction decreases the abundance of seals, and increases the amount of energy and time needed for hunting, leaving less energy for reproduction.

Polar bears hunt seals, so with a decrease in the abundacne of seals it is harder for polar bears to survive.

Polar bears are not the only sea animals that aer affecte however, the melting of ice is also changing the lives of penguins.

There was also a dramatic decline in penguins in Antartica, probably caused by disappearing sea ice over the past century (New England Aquarium).

I believe all these terms/concepts to be important because they are needed to understand what is happening to the oceans becuase of global warming. These changes such as ocean acidification and calcification affect ocean life such as coral reefs, polar bears, penguins and many more animals. We need to understand what is happening so that something can be done

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Synthesized Sources

April 3, 2010 at 8:49 am (Uncategorized)

The two sources that I believe will be the most use to me is “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” (an academic book source) and an article on cimlate change and the oceans from the New England aquarium website. Both sources provide me with information about what is happening to the ocean, they discuss ocean acidification, talk about the melting ice caps, and discusses how coral reefs are affected.

The book source does provide me with more information than the article from New England aquarium, but they are both still very useful for my research focus. The book source also provides me with information about the affects to animals because of the changes, where as this specific website article does not provide this information, however, there is another article provided by the New England aquarium that discusses the affects on the different types of ocean animals. With certain information the book also goes more in-depth with the topic than the website can, which provides me with a better understanding of what I am talking about. However, sometimes the website can be a little easier to understand.

In relation to coral reefs, “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” states:

More than a quarter of the planet’s coral reefs have already been destroyed or extensively damaged by various types of human activity and by spikes in water temperature that may be intensified by overall ocean warming.

The New England aquarium says:

Coral reefs may be the most vunerable to all the climate stressors- rising temperatures, acidification, invasion by pathogens, higher sea levels, and increased frequency of severe storms.

Both quotes mention that temperature is causing serious problems for the coral reefs, among other factors, but if you read the full text about coral reefs that each source provides, we obtain different information. The New Englan aquarium website gives us information about the coral reefs in relation to acidification and coral bleaching. The source explains what coral bleaching is so that we can correctly understand what is happening.

Coral bleaching occurs when zooxanthellae abandon corals in response to high temperatures. Zooxanthellae, which are photosynthesizing algae and cyanobacteria combined, provide more than 95% of the food of their coral hosts and gives corals their particular coloration. Under stress, corals expel these zooxanthellae, which lead to a bleached appearance.

Ocean acidification can have stronger affects on the cold water corla reefs which are found lower in the ocean.

The book source tells us what coral reefs consist of, which the New England aquarium website does not. Bleaching is also mentioned however it is not explained quite like that from the New England aquarium. “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” states:

If the waters spend much time at temperatures more than 1-2 degrees C above their typical summertime reading, the algae can begin to photosynthesize at a rate to fast for the coral reef to handle. to protect it’s own tissue, the coral may expel the microalgae, allowing the white skeletons to show through the translucent polyps.

While both quotes provide about the same information, the quote from the New England aquarium appears to be a little more scientific than that from “The Rough Guide to Climate Change.”

I believe both sources to be academic and therefore good sources to use and quote within my research paper. I also know that both will be very useful to me because they provide various information on each of the subtopics I will discuss with relation to the oceans. I believe the facts to be true from each source, because when comparing what is said about coral reefs, each source provided me with about the same information. Each source contained slightly different information, but overall the information on coral reefs were the same.

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March 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm (Uncategorized)

What are the effects of global warming? This was my first idea and a very broad one. There are many effects that are occurring or that can occur as a result of global warming such as hurricanes, possibility of flood, or drought.  When doing my research I focused in on two specific effects because of global warming. I decided to take a closer look at the rise in temperature and what is happening to our oceans. How animals and people are affected by this and is there anything we can do to stop it?

The sea levels are rising in recent years because of glaciers melting and oceans are becoming more acidic because of an increase in the absorption of carbon dioxide.  Ocean animals are being affected and the only thing that they can try to do to save themselves is adapt to the changes. However, what happens to the animals that cannot adapt? Mostly they will become endangered. All animals are important in the oceanic ecosystem, even in water there is a “circle of life,” so if one animal becomes scarce another animal that has been dependent upon the animal for survival can then begin to die out as well. Polar bears, seals, fish, coral reefs, and much more ocean life are affected.

Due to rising temperatures droughts can become a big problem.  For some countries this may not be a problem because the rising temperature can actually increase the crops productivity, but there are countries where this increase in temperature can cause famine. Even if crops are still produced “nutrients may become more scant” with increasing CO2 (Hensen 154). If there is drought not only can a famine occur more people can die from heat stroke and many more illnesses that are related to too much heat. There will be dehydration and a lack of hygiene due to a lack of water. The way that people are accustomed to living may change. Humans however, are not the only ones that are affected, what will happen to plant life and animal life? Can every species survive in such severe heat?

Are there any solutions that can reverse the effects that are taking place because of global warming? Most solutions involve decreasing CO2 emission.  The idea of building houses and offices that are more energy efficient has come into question. Public transportation is another idea, if more people pool together instead of everyone using their own cars CO2 emission will drop because less fossil fuels will be used.

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Website Search

March 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm (Uncategorized)

The first article I found is titled “Climate change effects on ocean animals,” this article mentions different animals and how the changes occuring to the oceans because of climate change has effected each animal. The article discusses the effects on polar bears, penguins, sea turtles, and a couple of other ocean animals.

Global warming has changed the oceans sea level and with is has changed the food chain within the ocean. As the article “Climate change effects on ocean animals” from the website  states

The loss of sea ice in Antartica has caused a decrease in the amount of algae, plankton and krill, the foundation of the ocean’s food chain.

The changes in the ocean affect many animals and we must try to find some solutions to slow/correct the ocean changes pertaining to global warming. Animals are living creatures and they must be helped to survive. Humans are part of the problem of global warming and animals should not suffer because of us. The rising temperatures may cause certain animals from being able to reproduce, since they may not be able to survive in warmer temperatures, in turn casuing that ocean animal to become extinct.

The second article I found is entitled “Climate change and the oceans” from the website This article discusses the changes in the ocean, such as the ocean becoming more acidic over the years, the rising sea level, as well as the effects of melting ice caps.  CO2 dissolves into the ocean increasing the acidity. According to the article

Ocean acidification is particulalrly damaging to the many organisms that use calcium carbonate to build protective shells. Colectively called “calcifying organisms,” they include some phytoplankton, and many invertibrates such as corals, sponges, marine worms, mollusks and crustaceans.

In addition to the animals being affected because of rising acidity, the rising sea levels will particularly be harmful for major cities that are located along the coastal line.

Sea level rise has major implications for those important population centers, where erosion, flooding and rising groundwater levels will threaten buildings, roads, subway systems and other essential services.

I believe my first article to be reliable because it comes from the New England Aquarium, which has experience with ocean animals and so can see what the effects of the changing oceans have on fish and other sea life. Within the article there are links that can lead you to get more information and understand what research is being done etc.

My second article is also an article from the New England aquarium. This article also contains further links that you can click on to get more information, it tells you where the sources came from. I believe the articles to be reliable because there is a link on the bottom so that you can see the sponsers of this page.

Both sites pertain to my research, in that I wish to discuss the effects of global warming, and one of the effects I have decided to closely discuss in my paper is the changes to the oceans and how they affect animals as well as people. The articles discuss the effects of animals because of the changing waters as well as what exactly is happening to the waters. It has been affective in helping me continue to move toward my focus because now i see that  the changing oceans and the effects on the animals is something that I can discuss because I know I am able to find information that is well suited to what  I wish to focus on.

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news search

March 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm (Uncategorized)

One article i found was from public agenda entitled “The Enviornment.” It discusses the  problems relating to global warming, such as the deteriorating coaslines of the nation. The article also discusses the change in climate, such as the rising temperature. we are warned that there could be coastal flooding, drought, etc. However, there are nations that are acting aggressively at cutting their greenhouse gas emissions. This article can be helpful to me because it provides different effects of global warming which is kind of the broad focus for my essay. I wouldn’t comnsider this source reliable though because it does not provide me with an sources of information. There is no use of quotes or any leads as to where this information came from. I think had some good information and provided you with an adaquate amount of articles so that you can find the one that best suits ur needs.

My second article came from the New York Times and is entitled “Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way.” This article dicusses the effect of global warming which caused methane (that is frozen into the arctic permafrost) to be relseased, increasing global warming. This could be useful in my research paper because I’ve been thinking about focusing on the effects of global warming pertaining to water. I believe this article to be reliable because it contains quotes pertaining to what scientists have said. The New York Times was a good website because there was a good selection of articles that you could choose from.

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Academic Journal

March 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm (Uncategorized)

As climate changes there is a rise in sea levels and with that a disturbance to the organisms that live within the waters. Humans are not the only ones affected by global warming and the changes to the seas are not small problems, the changes affect the balance to everything that lives within those waters. We have to be concerned not only what is happening above water, but what is happening below. There is a whole world underwater that we may not understand but there will be an inbalance because of global warming.

As the article “Smallest Algae Thrive As the Arctic Ocean Freshens” states:

As climate changes the upper Arctic Ocean receives more heat and fresh water, it becomes more difficult for mixing processes to deliver nutrients from depth to the surface for phytoplankton growth.

With changes in the seas the balance of life is disrupted. When one thing changes, it can cause something else to change, like a domino effect. If one organism cannot survive because of the change in water, another organism that is dependent upon it may die out as well, and the chain will continue on.

 The article “Smallest Algae Thrive As the Artic Ocean Freshens” claims:

if current changes persist, an altered food web may be expected because community size structure is a strong determinant   of ecosystem carbon flux.

I believe that we should know what is happening to everything that lives in the water because it is affected. If we are going to make a good decision on how to change what is happening we have to understand not only the effects on land because of a change in the sea but understand what is happening below the surface as well.

The focus of my paper is the effects of global warming on the earth. I plan to narrow that focus by discussing maybe one or two specific effects of global warming on the earth. One of the effects i plan to focus on is the change that is occuring to the oceans, mostly the rising sea levels and how the changes to our oceans affect the organisms that live within it. this article fits into my focus because it discusses that the smallest algae thrives, however, there will be an expected change in the food web. It discusses the changes that occur to things within the water, which is something i am interested in discussing.

If i decided to use this article I may use the information asd a jumping off point to what i wish to focus on. Some information may be quoted depending on what I decide to specifically focus on in my research paper.

The article was found by using the school data base, I logged onto my library acount and used the catalog narrowing my search to academic journals and typing in “effects of global warming,” from there I viewed the synopsis of each article until i found the one that most related to my topic and that i wished to print.

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Library Books

March 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm (Uncategorized)

I chose books from my public library. One book I chose is called Dire Predictions understanding global warming.  This book contains information about the effects of global warming now and what may occur in the future, as well as potential solutions. I chose this book because it contains information on two things i wish to discuss in my paper, the effects of global warming and what we can do to reverse the effects. i believe this book to be reliable because it contains a website for further information as well as author acknowledgments to colleagues at Penn state. 

The second book i chose is called climate solutions, the book discusses what global warming is and gives possible solutions. it not only mentions the solutions but also discusses the positive and negative aspects of each. I chose this book because i don’t only want to mention what solutions are possible, but i want to be able to go in depth and explain why or why not they may be useful.  I think this book is reliable as well because it contains numerous additional resources  and on the acknowledgment page there are numerous names and organizations that the book acredited.

I see myself potentially using these books for quotes within my paper as well as using it as general  info to further develop what i wish to say in my research paper.

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article comparison

March 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm (Uncategorized)

on my google search i found an article about the effects of global warming. The article discussed the effect of global warming on the earth that is occuring now and mentioned things that could happen later in the century because of global warming. i think it is important to be informed about what is going on and what may occur, with more knowledge maybe more people will do more to try to reverse global warming. on my search on google scholar i found an online book that discussed the effects of global warming but also discusses the econmic side and the realization that it can take a lot of money to try to fix global warming. we need to be aware of the effects so that we can try to find possible solutions.Both these articles relate to my interest because i wish to find more about the effects of global warming and also what can be done to help reverse the effects. i believe both sources to be reliable as one is from national geographic and the other comes from a book, it contains sources as well.  they provide good information, however, the book from google scholar has much more info than the short article found from my google search, which is only about a page

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