The tides are rising and so is the demand for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. OTEC is a new alternative energy source that generates electricity from water as a heat engine. The temperature difference from our oceans actually creates efficient energy. Currently, the problem with OTEC is that it doesn’t generate a lot of energy, so it’s up to Congress to determine if the costs outweigh the benefits, but changes in heat exchange show promise. 70% of the Earth is currently covered with water and the sun is heating the waters to generated electricity. With a combination of solar energy and hydropower a new alternative energy source and actually dominate the wind energy markets. Recent attempts at implementing OTEC failed because of costs and low efficiency rates, but if thermal efficiency were to increase in magnitude, electrical sources might be changed altogether. In a cost-benefit analysis, the sum of money Congress has to put out may gut the economy, but the overall benefits from saving our natural resources will greatly outweigh.
Thanks to all the people who contributed to the blog in order to make it a success. All these posts help keep us high up inside of the competition this was made for, and so now we have made it to the top 10 because of it. The team is now able to send some students to New York to the United Nations Headquarters in order to learn more about helping out the environment.
As such, this is most likely the last update until late into the next school year, when we continue to all work together on these green activities. Until then, thanks once more to all the people that have contributed. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys.
Our green waters
Coral Bleaching Events and Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Hot Spots, 1997 – 1998
Change is impacting our environment in many different ways. One of the most obvious, yet least discussed ways, is the deterioration of coral reefs. When we want to investigate the realistic examples of global warming and climate change, we need to look no further than our coral reefs. According to Earth Trends: Environmental Information, “coral reefs, which are extremely sensitive to changes in the temperature and acidity of the water in which they form, are being destabilized by a changing ocean environment. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that many of the world’s coral reefs are precariously close to total failure.”
The Global Marine Species, an institution that monitors approximately 40,000 species of animals, reports that nearly 1/3 of animals near the coral reef are listed as critcally endangered. Because of the delicate nature of the coral reef, in increase in global temperatures will cause a “shock.” This “shock” will progress into the coral reefs bleaching, thus loosing their color and being more prone to disease. Should more of the coral reef beign to be bleached, much of it will die, thus the organisms they support will begin to die. Parts of the ecosystem will begin to crumble merely because the coral is dying.
While we may see the coral reef as only a “rainforest of the sea,” many organisms see the coral reef as their home and their protection.
-Written by Rumana Kermalli