We will see why the Earth is warming up
Greenhouse Effect is the normal process by which heat is radiated from the Earth's surface and trapped by gases in the atmosphere, helping to maintain the Earth at a temperature that can support life
Greenhouse gas is any of the gases in the atmosphere that absorb heat radiated from the Earth's surface and contribute to the greenhouse effect, examples may be carbon dioxide and methane
Global Warming is an increase in the Earth's average temperature
The temperature of the planet has gone up in recent times
As concentrations of Carbon Dioxide go up, the temperature goes up:
And so have CONCENTRATIONS of Carbon DIoxide
Increased Gases are connected to rising temperatures
Warmer temperatures are CONNECTED to melting ice caps
As Ice melts, Sea Levels Rise and SHore land is lost
Vostok Ice Core Samples SHow the levels of CO2 over time
Samples are readings of gas bubbles in ice cores
Connection between Carbon Dioxide and Ice Ages
There are areas where so much gas is trapped in the ice, it is flammable
Methane gas is naturally trapped in the ice when plants die and decompose, many microbes eat carbon and make methane gas while some bacteria eat methane, there are also sources of methane gas that are connected to human activity such as cattle raising. Permafrost thaws because of global warming, but without global warming it would stay frozen and keep the gas trapped.
asparagopsis taxiformis: a species of red algae that reduces methane in cow waste
Mangrove trees along the coast reduce erosion
Mangroves are naturally supposed to line the coast in most parts of the world but people have torn them down to build resorts, and for shrimp farming and wood. Letting them exist along the shore would reduce erosion and would also protect coral reef ecosystems.
Mangroves are a carbon sink, they absorb more carbon dioxide than most plants and are part of the solution to our climate crisis. Mangroves release leaves that provide nutrients for microbes and eventually larger sea creatures. They also store a bunch of the carbon dioxide that they absorb in their large roots, this is called carbon sequestration.
Other Technologies that are part of the solution: https://www.almadartebio.org/biology-page/sustainable-energy
Sustainable Food Production: https://www.almadartebio.org/biology-page/future-of-food
Research in ANTARCTICA
Living organisms maintain balance by sensing their internal and external conditions and making adjustments.
endotherm vs ectotherm
An ectotherm (reptile/amphibian) relies primarily on its external environment to regulate the temperature of its body. Endotherms (birds) are able to regulate their body temperatures by producing heat within the body.
Our organs work together to help homeostasis
Hierarchy in biology: Our cells work together to form organs and organs work together to form organisms.
Tissue: and organized collection of a single type of cell type working to carry out a specific function.
Organ: a structure made up of different tissue types working together to carry out a common function.
Organ System: a set of cooperating organs within the body.
Physiology: the study of the way living organism's physical parts function
Homeostasis: the maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment, even when the external environment changes.
Organs that help with homeostasis
In mammals, the main organs involved with homeostasis are:
Thermoregulation: the maintenance of a relatively stable internal body temperature.
Vasoconstriction: the reduction in diameter of blood vessels which helps retain heat.
Vasodilation: the expansion in diameter of blood vessels, which helps to release heat.
Hypoxia: the state of low oxygen concentration in the blood
Acclimatization: the process of physiologically adjusting to an environmental change over a period of time. Generally reversible.
Blood SUgar Homeostasis
Glycogen: an energy storing carbohydrate found in liver and muscle.
Pancreas: an organ that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon, as well as digestive enzymes
Insulin: a hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar
Glucagon: a hormone produces by the pancreas that causes an increase in blood sugar.
Hormone: a chemical signaling molecule that is released by a cell or gland and travels through the bloodstream to exert an effect on target cells.
Osmolarity: the concentration of dissolved solutes in blood and other bodily fluids
Osmoregulation: the maintenance of relatively stable volume, pressure, and solute concentration of bodily fluids, especially blood.
Kidney: an organ involved in osmoregulation, filtration of blood to remove wastes, and production of several important hormones
Hypothalamus: the coordinator region of the brain, responsible for a variety of physiological functions.
Sensor: a specialized cell that detects specific sensory input like temperature, pressure, or solute concentration
Effector: a cell or tissue that acts to exert a response on the basis of information relayed from a sensor
Feedback loop: a pathway that involves input from a sensor, a response via an effector, and detection of the response by the sensor
Hearts in other creatures
Human organ systems
Osmosis maintains homeostasis
Plants have many adaptations that help with homeostasis
Ways animals maintain homeostasis
Being able to hold your breath for 20 minutes while having fin like wings and mastering the physics of coming out of the icy water
Huddling to stay warm since heat moves from hot to cold
Changing blood circulation to hold your breath much longer while collapsing your lungs to sustain the deep water pressure
Evolving antifreeze proteins
Learning to be part of a school of fish
A hydrosphere is the total amount of water on a planet. The hydrosphere includes water that is on the surface of the planet, underground, and in the air. A planet's hydrosphere can be liquid, vapor, or ice.
Bodies of Water:
The water moves within a water cycle:
Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.
About 2.1% of all of Earth's water is frozen in glaciers. 97.2% is in the oceans and inland seas 2.1% is in glaciers 0.6% is in groundwater and soil moisture less than 1% is in the atmosphere less than 1% is in lakes and rivers less than 1% is in all living plants and animals.
Rocks and minerals
Soil Particles in a Soil Sample
The Properties of the soil matters to plants and animals
The geology of a Biome will affect the Life there
Rocks are weathered and ERODED to make soil
Rocks release phosphorous
ATP is ADENOSINE TriPhosphate
ATP, Adenosine Triphosphate, is made by mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, ATP is the currency used for cell work. As a living being absorbs or eats phosphorous, it breaks down during digestion, and is used to assemble ATP. We need oxygen to release ATP during the electron transport chain part of the process of ATP production. Rocks release phosphorous as they erode, it goes into plants, and then goes into the food web.
The Nitrogen gets there thanks to the nitrogen cycle
78% of the air we breathe is nitrogen, however, the nitrogen that we breathe in does not work for our cells to build proteins, we need to get it from our plants or creatures that ate plants.
Nitrogen follows a cycle:
Healthy soil is full of life
Red Wiggler Worms help soil bacteria and fungi reproduce as they break down plant matter and produce fertilizer.
Under the Surface
Pockets of Freshwater under the Sea
Ice COres can show past gas LEVELS in the atmosphere
Everything is made of atoms, Molecules are made of Atoms
Living Beings Coexist: Symbiosis describes how
Mitochondria and Chloroplasts are powerhouses
Living beings grow through cell division.
stem cells can help regenerate tissues.
Cell growth and cell growth require nutrients
Cells build proteins by reading genetic code
Cells build organelles and then organs
Eukaryotic cells have organelles and a nucleus while prokaryotes do not
Food Webs are NUTRIENT transport chains
The food web of the planet starts with the sea.
WHat we see is influenced by the structures in our eyes
The Color Spectrum
Types of Forests
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. Its surface and shores are 430.5 metres below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth, it has 10 times more salt than ordinary seawater, 33.7 percent salt.
The sea is called "dead" because its high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.
Important Biology Vocabulary
biological dead zone
Biological dead zone are hypoxic (low oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, which causes these bodies of water to fail to support the marine life living there.
THE EARTH HAS SLOPE, GRADIENT, AND TOPOGRAPHY
In mathematics, the slope or gradient of a line is a number that describes both the direction and the steepness of the line. This can be applied to the slope of the earth.
Topography is the study of the shape and features of land surfaces.
THe structures of the land create different environments
Creatures can fill different ecological niches within a biome.
There will be differences in temperature, salinity, pH, and more.
An example of a creature that lives in a very specific environment that changes frequently is the axolotl in the Anahuac Valley, now Mexico City.
Axolotl live in brackish (semi salty) water in Xochimilco and Lake Texcoco in Mexico City, they are very endangered. They eat mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans, and some fish.
There are 17 different species of Axolotl, locally they are called achoque, they are salamanders. Salamanders are a type of amphibian, creatures that have an aquatic gill-breathing larval stage followed (typically) by a terrestrial lung-breathing adult stage.
Salamanders stay in water more but they may breathe through their skin or develop lungs. Axolotls stay in the water and don't go through metamorphosis, they develop functional lungs, but retain gills and generally use them to breathe.
There are restoration efforts that help protect the Axolotl.
They only live in one place
Their home went from being a lake, to becoming the Mexica City of Tenochtitlan in 1325, to becoming one of the biggest cities in the world after the lake was drained. There are currently still aquifers under Mexico City and the people drink this aquifer water, so the city is sinking.
MEXICO CITY DURING AZTEC (Mexica) TIMES, YEARS 1324-1430
It was a tricky place to grow food:
Lake Chalco and Lake Xochimilco to the south were freshwater lakes, lakes to the north, Tetzcoco, Xaltocan and Zumpango, were salty.
Axolotl adapted to changing levels of salinity, when floods moved water from salty areas to freshwater areas, many plants and animals would die. There are also aquifers, underground water ways, that feed the lakes.
To overcome the problems of drinking water, Aztec (Mexica or Tenochca Mexica) engineers built a system of dams to separate the salty waters of the lake from the rain water of the effluents.
Aztec (Mexica) communities grew food on Chinampas, strips of land that were made from the fertile soil from the bottom of the lake. They were artificial islands.
People in this region spoke Nahuatl, it is still spoken by about 1.7 million people today. The people in this region identified as Mexica or Tenochca Mexica, not as Aztec.
Spanish COnquerors drained the lakes
When Spanish Conquistadors went to what is now Mexico City, they destroyed as much of the city as they could and drained the lakes to build a new city on top of the existing city.
This video shows us why and how the region is slowly sinking:
Efforts to protect Axolotl
This conservation effort involves making cough syrup with them :(, you win some, you lose some. Axolotls are very important in medicine, we will learn more about that soon.
Another threat to rivers and lakes is eutrophication, when fertilizers are washed off the land and into the bodies of water.
When there are too many nutrients in a lake or other body of water, generally because of runoff from the land. Excess nutrients cause a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen.
The area where the axolotl lives is their habitat, the habitat is part of a biome
A biome includes many habitats and many ecosystems.
A biome may be an ocean, grassland, a forest, a tundra, rainforest, desert.
The Marine Biome covers about 70% of the Earth's surface and is home to more than 230 thousand known species. Marine plants provide over half of the oxygen on Earth. There are separate biomes within the ocean based on depth, temperature, and biodiversity. A coral reef is a biome. Within the coral reef there are different habitats and niches.
Rivers streams, ponds and lakes, and wetlands are fresh water biomes.
Polar regions have tundras, there are less plants, animals need to get food from the ocean or hunt other creatures.
Forests may be full of evergreen trees in colder areas.
Tropical Rainforests get more moisture and humidity, they are close to the equator and are warm, full of life. Important producers of oxygen and many medicinal plants have been discovered there.
A savannah or grassland has low growing plants like grass and flowers.
Deserts are dry, may be hot or cold, very little rain, may drop to below freezing at night and be very hot during the day. Have cacti, grasses, shrubs, some trees.
People are reflecting on the lack of regard for the environment and are speaking up
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change.
She was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome/ Autism, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism.
In one of her first speeches demanding climate action, Thunberg described the selective mutism aspect of her condition as meaning she "only speaks when necessary." She is now 18 years old.
This week we are learning about how animals and plants interact with each other and survive in their environment. This part of biology is known as population ecology.
The study of ecology includes:
Types of migrations, genetic exchange, and forms of symbiosis population distribution patterns, food chains, population growth pattern, why we need pollinators, and how species spread.
An ecosystem involves all living and non-living components in an area, how energy flows and matter cycles through an environment.
Atmosphere: this includes the wind speed and direction, humidity, light intensity and quality, precipitation and temperature.â
Biotic Factors: These are all the living organisms in the environment, including their interactions.
Abiotic factors: elements that are not alive: soil, rocks, mountains, rain, clouds
Living organisms interact with each other in their habitat, they influence matter by walking around and moving things around.
Habitat: the natural environment in which a creature lives including the biotic and abiotic factors.
Each organism occupies a niche, an ecological niche of an organism is their function in the ecosystem: where they live, what organisms they interact with, how they respond t changes in the health of the environment.
Tolerance rage: each species has a tolerance range, this is their comfort zone, at what point they move to another environment.
What is pH and why does it matter?
The term pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, it stands for potential hydrogen.
Substance that release hydrogen ions when dissolved in water are acids.
The more hydrogen ions they release the more acidic they are.
Substances that release hydroxide ions when dissolved in water are bases.
Alkalinity increases with the concentration of hydroxyl ions.
Each pH unit represents a 10-fold change in concentration.
Contaminants CONTRIBUTE to Acid Rain
Acid rain: rainfall made sufficiently acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, typically to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulfur and nitrogen oxides, which combine with atmospheric water to form acids. -Oxford
Normal, clean rain has a pH value of between 5.0 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. When rain combines with sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides produced from power plants and automobiles the rain becomes much more acidic. Typical acid rain has a pH value of 4.0.
ph and Environmentalism
Acids are substance that break apart in water to form a hydrogen ion.
Acids react with carbonates to give off carbon dioxide
Interesting ph facts
âSome plants tell us the pH of their soil by expressing different colors of flowers.
Venom is Acidic
A sting from a bee may be painful for many reasons, pH of bee venom is 5.0-5.5
Formic acid in ants has a pH of 2 to 3
The pH of a river is not the same as the pH of the rain
When it rains or we use water for irrigation, water goes downhill, down the gradient of the earth
There is a connection between the water that moves across land and the pH of bodies of water such as lakes, rives, ponds, and the seaâ
Water moves through a watershed, the way the surface water drains down from ridges to basins.
Author: Jazmin Gannon
A place to grow