人造光影响北极浮游动物,油轮溢油不是海洋污
分类:科学技术

在北极高纬度地区的极夜期间,一个科学家团队发现,“在极地海洋生态系统中,某些方面对潜在的光污染极其敏感,而传统的抽样技术还不足以研究这些方面。”

May 23, 2002Tanker spills not the major source of ocean pollutionit is consumers of oil -- not the ships that transport it -- who are responsible for most petroleum that enters U.S. waters says a new report fromthe National Academies' National Research Council.Nearly 85 percent of the 29 million gallons of petroleum that enter North American ocean waters each year as a result of human activities comes from land-based runoff, polluted rivers, airplanes, and small boats and jet skis, says the report. Less than 8 percent comes from tanker or pipeline spills. Oil exploration and extraction are responsible for only 3 percent of the petroleum that enters the sea. Another 47 million gallons seep into the ocean naturally from the seafloor. "Oil spills can have long-lasting and devastating effects on the ocean environment, but we need to know more about damage caused by petroleum from land-based sources and small watercraft since they represent most of the oil leaked by human activities," said James M. Coleman, chair of the committee that wrote the report, and Boyd Professor, Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. "This doesn't mean we can ignore hazards from drilling and shipping, however. Although new safety standards and advances in technology reduced the amount of oil that spilled during extraction and transport in the last two decades, the potential is still there for a large spill, especially in regions with lax safety controls."To better monitor how much oil consumers and industry are depositing in the ocean, federal agencies should work with state and local environmental bureaus to develop a system for documenting sources of runoff, the report says. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should continue efforts to phase out older, inefficient two-stroke engines, which power many jet skis and other small watercraft.The committee's calculations of how much petroleum is added to the sea each year were based on data from a variety of sources. The accuracy of these data is much improved since the Research Council's last assessment in 1985. The amount of petroleum released into North American and global waters is less than previously thought, the committee found. At the same time, however, new studies show that the environmental effects of a major oil spill are longer lasting than once thought and that even small amounts of petroleum can seriously damage marine life and ecosystems.SOURCES OF OIL IN THE SEAOil slicks visible from the air and birds painted black by oil get the most public attention, but it is consumers of oil -- not the ships that transport it -- who are responsible for most of what finds its way into the ocean, the report says. For example, oil runoff from cars and trucks is increasing in coastal areas where the population is growing and roads and parking lots are expanding to accommodate it. Rivers polluted by oil in waste water or the improper disposal of petroleum products are a significant source of oil in the sea as well. In addition, older two-stroke engines still found on many recreational boats and jet skis were purposely designed to discharge gasoline and oil. Land runoff and recreational boating account for nearly three-quarters of the 25 million gallons of petroleum released into the sea annually through the consumption of petroleum. Other sources of oil from human activities include military and commercial jets that occasionally jettison excess fuel over the ocean and ships that release oil from their engines while in port or at sea.More than one-half of the land-based oil contamination along the North American coastline occurs between Maine and Virginia, where there are dense seaside populations, many cities, several refineries, and high energy use, the report says. About 20 percent of the land-based petroleum entering North American coastal waters ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf also receives most of the oil and gas that is emitted by recreational boats and jet skis.The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration should work with shipowners domestically and internationally through the International Maritime Organization to expand and enforce shipping standards that already have contributed to a decline in oil spills and operational discharges, the report adds. Annually, about 2.7 million gallons of petroleum spill into North American waters while being transported to market. However, the report cautions that large tanker spills are still possible, especially in areas without stringent safety procedures and inspections. The U.S. Department of Transportation and EPA also should continue work with state environmental agencies and industry to assess and minimize the potential for a significant spill from pipelines and other coastal facilities.The exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas introduces 880,000 gallons of petroleum to North American waters each year. These leaks are concentrated where oil-drilling rigs are at work in the Gulf of Mexico and in waters off southern California, northern Alaska, and eastern Canada. The amount of petroleum released during extraction has dropped significantly, but the threat of a spill cannot be ignored, the report says. To that end, the U.S. Minerals Management Service should continue to work with state environmental agencies and industry to promote extraction techniques that minimize accidental or intentional releases of petroleum.The report also says federal ocean-management agencies should try to develop more accurate techniques for estimating the amount of oil that seeps into the ocean from geologic formations beneath the seafloor. This would help researchers distinguish the effects of petroleum released by natural processes versus human activities, and study how marine life responds to the introduction of oil.ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTSThe impact of an oil spill on marine life is not directly related to the size of the spill, since even a small spill in an ecologically sensitive area can have long-term adverse effects, the report says. A spill's influence also depends on the type and amount of toxins present in the petroleum product being released. The riskiest toxins are a class of organic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Growing evidence suggests that PAHs and other toxic compounds can have adverse effects on marine species even at very low concentrations. This means chronic releases from runoff and recreational boating may inflict more damage than previously thought, and that the effects of large spills may last as long as residual oil persists in the area. Significant research has been conducted in recent years -- particularly in the wake of the EXXON VALDEZ spill -- confirming that large oil spills can be devastating to the marine environment. They kill fish, mammals, birds, and their offspring; destroy plant life; and reduce the food supply for organisms that survive. Spills also disrupt the structure and function of marine communities and ecosystems, although more research is needed to better understand how spills affect overall populations, the report says. To aid this research, a federal rapid-response team should be created to rush to oil spills and collect real-time data. Where oil seeps naturally into the ocean, local marine ecosystems have been significantly altered, the report says. For example, in seepage areas in the Santa Barbara Channel off California, there is little diversity among organisms, which consist mainly of bacteria and a few invertebrate species.Less is known about how chronic releases from sources such as land runoff and inefficient two-stroke engines on boats and jet skis affect marine ecology. The report calls for the federal government, in cooperation with academia and industry, to launch a major research effort aimed at better understanding how chronic releases of petroleum affect the marine environment, especially when organisms in already polluted waters are exposed to the multiple toxins found in oil. Studying the small, chronic releases that occur at oil-drilling sites may aid this effort.Worldwide, about 210 million gallons of petroleum enter the sea each year from the extraction, transportation, and consumption of crude oil and the products refined from it, with an additional 180 million gallons coming from natural seepage, the report says.The study was sponsored by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, American Petroleum Institute, and the National Ocean Industries Association. A committee roster follows.

Artificial Light Affects Zooplankton in Arctic

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很明显,人造光影响浮游动物,从而波及海洋生态系统,接着又会影响水面上的大气。为了更加深入了解它们的关系,设计调查船只需要谨记浮游动物对光的敏感性。

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  1. Ludvigsen, M., Berge, J., Geoffroy, M., Cohen, J. H., Pedro, R., Nornes, S. M., … & Johnsen, G. (2018). Use of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle reveals small-scale diel vertical migrations of zooplankton and susceptibility to light pollution under low solar irradiance. Science advances, 4(1), eaap9887.

然而,科技是一把双刃剑。近年来越来越多的研究发现,人造光也可能是一种污染源,——光污染。自然的暗夜以及在昼夜交替的自然律动中经过数以万年计进化至今的生物和生态系统,人工照明带来的“光污染”,让深深篆刻在它们DNA里的密码不适应,并带来一系列的问题。之前已经有大量研究表明,光污染对于昆虫、海洋动物、迁徙鸟类等可能带来的严重影响,如让它们失去方向,扰乱它们的自然作息,导致致命后果。

然而,浮游动物对光照展现了强烈的逃逸反应。科学家发现,传统采样平台发出的人造光影响了深至100米浮游动物的自然节律。该项研究强调,为搜集准确数据,改变水生环境传统采样平台使用的照明方式十分必要。研究表明,尽管人们越来越意识到自然光微小的改变会影响海洋生物在自然昏暗环境中的行为,但我们才刚开始了解生物体如何以及为什么会对光变化做出反应,而这些变化是在大多数商业传感器探测范围内发生的。

星空人才培养计划

根据美国国家海洋及大气总署(NOAA)等机构的天文科学家绘制的“全球光污染地图”,地球上1/3人口无法看到灿烂星空。图/NOAA

However, zooplankton display a strong light-escape response. The scientists found that the artificial light emitted from traditional sampling platforms interferes with the natural rhythms of zooplankton to a depth of 100 meters. This study emphasizes the need for changes to the lighting used on traditional sampling platforms in aquatic environments in order to collect accurate data. The study notes, “Despite an increased awareness that small changes in natural light affect the behavior of marine organisms in naturally dim environments, we are only starting to understand how and why organisms respond to changes in light that occur on scales below what most commercial sensors can detect.”

光污染、暗夜、星空遗产等概念,对中国人民来说还并不熟悉。为此,中国绿发会成立了星空工作委员会,旨在保护暗夜、重塑星空作为遗产的价值,并唤起人们对光污染的认识。

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Use of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle reveals small-scale diel vertical migrations of zooplankton and susceptibility to light pollution under low solar irradiance

This study has implications far beyond the design of research vessels. The researchers are concerned that sea ice loss (caused by global warming) is leading to more human activity in the Arctic by creating openings for new shipping routes and oil and gas exploration. The artificial lights that will come with these human activities will undoubtedly affect natural rhythms and biological processes of zooplankton.

2018年8月14日

It is clear that artificial light affects zooplankton, which ripples through the ecosystems of the ocean. This then affects the atmosphere above the surface of the water. In order to further understand these relationships, research vessels need to be designed with the light sensitivity of zooplankton in mind.

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