Blog Archives

The Greenhouse Effect

Here is the class presentation – shadowed images are links. I’ve included the slides from G3 on the ozone layer. Make sure you understand that the greenhouse effect itself is a natural phenomenon, enhanced by human activity. Be sure also to distinguish between the greenhouse gases in the troposphere and ozone layer – they are in different positions, with different functions.

Essential Biology 5.2 and G3: The Greenhouse Effect and Impacts of Humans on Ecosystems.

Click4Biology:The Greenhouse Effect

More decent resources from Cutting Edge

Use these CO2 data to plot trends and annual cycles with a spreadhseet.

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The Cove

Winner of the Sundance 2009 audience award:

Find out more about the cove here:

Official Website

IMDB.com

If you get the chance to see it, think about how it links with the Ecology and Conservation unit:

What is happening in terms of bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxins?

Is this approach to the dolphin populations sustainable?

ToK Link:

The actions portrayed in the movie are considered by many to be unethical but by those committing them to be a necessary part of life. Think about what determines one’s set of personal ethics – what parts of our own lives might be considered unethical by others? Are there actions we carry out which are unethical but which we choose not to think about because it is uncomfortable or inconvenient to do so?

International Mindedness:

How does this method of farming compare to intensive cattle and poultry farming in other industrialised countries?

Here’s a short clip of an intensively-farmed chicken’s life:

And you and find out more about it on Channel 4’s Hugh’s Chicken Run page.

NOAA Environmental Visualisation Library

Education Resources, Animations, Videos and Satellite Images

Education Resources, Animations, Videos and Satellite Images

Awesome. NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) has revamped its Environmental visualisation libray – bringing new educational materials, visualisations, animations and resources to educators and the public. See the images of the 2008 hurricane season, animations of the ocean damage caused by humans or check out their library of satellite images.

They also have a YouTube channel where you can view and download some of their video resources. In relation to our upcoming Earth Day theme of “Reefs and Oceans“, here’s a clip about the effects of coral bleaching:

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Check out the NOAA image galleries too...

Check out the NOAA image galleries too...

Life After People

Thanks to Bro Taylor for this one.

The History Channel ran a special called “Life After People“, about- surprisingly enough- life after people. He described it as “like ‘I Am Legend’ but not rubbish.”

What would happen if we all disappeared? How long would it be before animals moved back into the cities? how long would electricity keep being generated? Would buildings crumble?

It helps us realise that we are never in a position to ‘save the world’ – only life as we know it. The world will be fine long after we are gone. Why not visit their microsite and see if you would survive?

The save tag is not enabled on the GoogleVideo page, but you can save it by clicking here (via KeepVid).

The Habitable Planet

This is a great collection of multimedia Science resources, including lectures, notes, videos and interactives.

Get on and have a go!

It is produced by Learner.org, a huge and excellent resource for all Science topics (and other subjects, too).

Wind Turbines Make Bats’ Lungs Explode

I thought this was a hoax when I first read it, but it’s serious – and even though I’m all up for renewable energy sources (including wind-power), this is a little worrying.

Many people know that if you’ve been SCUBA diving or snorkelling deep down, you need to exhale as you surface – and not rise too quickly. This is because a rapid decrease in pressure as you surface can cause bubbles of nitrogen to form in the blood, leading to potentially fatal bends.

Well it seems a similar pressure-related phenomenon has been causing bats to drop dead near wind turbines – although instead of nitrogen bubbles forming, their lungs have been violently haemmoraging. Simply put, the high air speed around the tips of the blades cause a dramatic drop in air pressure. Bats can’t detect changes in air pressure with their echolocation, so fly through this areas. When the air pressure drops, their lungs expand and then pop.

For a great article about this, head on over to Ed Yong’s award-winning  Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Here’s NewScientist’s video on the same subject:

One simple solution posted on Ed’s comments section suggest that a high-frequency noise might keep the bats at a safe distance. That would have the added benefit of keeping away the teenagers!

Here’s the link to an old post about an exploding wind turbine.

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