Saving our seas and coral

It was great that there is an action to take care of coral around Sabah. Please read on the news..

Saving our seas and coral

By MUGUNTAN VANAR

KOTA KINABALU: A massive clean-up and planting of “baby coral” will be undertaken at the Tungku Abdul Rahman island park here on Oct 17.

Both professional and amateur divers will be scouring the seabeds of Pulau Sapi, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Manukan to pick up underwater garbage in an effort to protect coral and sea creatures under “Project Aware.”

Borneo Divers Training Institute managing director Clement Lee said that the underwater conservation project was aimed at creating awareness among all citizens about the importance of keeping of the sea free of garbage.

“We cannot continue to pollute the sea with garbage which will eventually choke and suffocate the coral reefs,” he said, adding that efforts to maintain the environment were especially important in view of current concerns over climate change.

He said that during the clean-up, divers would plant baby coral on special cement bases and transfer them to an underwater nursery for rehabilitation.

“After few months, the coral would be moved to a different site,” he said, adding that the growth of the coral would be observed and monitored.

Lee urged members of the public to also join in the clean-up. Those who are interested in helping out can call (088) 222-226 for registration and other details.

Saving corals is to preserve the beauty of Borneo. It also avoid the extinction of some rare coral species. But when we look back on our situation now, does this is so important to us?

The world are getting hotter, global warming are increasing and clean water sources are depleting. But there is not much effort done and publicize by the government or any non-profit bodies to reduce this. For quite a long time now that I never hear anyone do a mass tree plantation. But I see people burn down the trees and I see more lodging in the virgin forest.

The corals that they save will soon be dead too because of one reason. They will no longer be able to cope with the environment changes. So right before you save them or by the time you are saving them, make sure to save the trees too. Reduce Carbon dioxide emission and plant more efficient oxygen generating plant. With this you could preserve the environment and could indirectly save them.

Pollution

Introduction

Pollution is the addition to the ecosystem of someting which has a detrimental effect on it. One of the most important causes of pollution is the high rate of energy usage by modern, growing populations.

Different kinds of pollution are found. In this section we will discuss:

  1. Water Pollution.
  2. Land Pollution

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the accumulation in the atmosphere of substances that, in sufficient concentrations, endanger human health or produce other measured effects on living matter and other materials. Among the major sources of pollution are power and heat generation, the burning of solid wastes, industrial processes, and, especially, transportation. The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photochemical oxidants.

Examples of Air Pollution

  • Noise Pollution
  • Noise pollution or unwanted sounds that are carried by the air, have an irritating and detrimental effect on humans and other animals. Careful planning of streets and biuldings in towns and better control over noisy vechiles may add to the control of noise pollution.

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Tobacco smoke is one of the major forms of pollution in buildings. It is not only the smoker who is infected, but everyone who inhales the polluted air. There is a very strong connection between smoking and lung cancer. Bronchitis is common among smokers and unborn babies of mothers who smoke also suffer from the harmful effects of smoking.

  • Exhaust Gases of Vehicles
  • Pollution from exhaust gases of vehicles is reponsible for 60% of all air pollution and in cities up to 80%. There is a large variety of harmful chemicals present in these gases, with lead being one of the most dangerous.

  • Combustion of Coal
  • The combustion of caol without special precautions can have serious consequences. If winds do not blow away the poisonous gases, they can have fatal effects and may lead to death.

  • Acid rain
  • Acid rain is the term for pollution caused when sulfur and nitrogen dioxides combine with atmospheric moisture to produce highly acidic rain, snow, hail, or fog. The acid eats into the stone, brick and metal articles and pollutes water sources. Coal in South Africa is rich in sulphur and the power stations in the Mpumalanga Province could be reponsible for acid rain over other areas of our country.

    Control Measures

    Although individual people can help to combat air pollution in their own immediate environment, efficient control can be best achieved by legislation. Some commonly enforced control measures include

    • the establishment of more smokeless zones;
    • control over the kinds of fuel used in cars, aeroplanes, power stations, etc.

    Water Pollution

    Water pollution is the introduction into fresh or ocean waters of chemical, physical, or biological material that degrades the quality of the water and affects the organisms living in it. This process ranges from simple addition of dissolved or suspended solids to discharge of the most insidious and persistent toxic pollutants (such as pesticides, heavy metals, and nondegradable, bioaccumulative, chemical compounds).

    Examples of Water Pollution

  • Industrial affluents
  • Water is discharged from after having been used in production processes. This waste water may contain acids, alkalis, salts, poisons, oils and in some cases harmful bacteria.

  • Mining and Agricultural Wastes
  • Mines, especially gold and coal mines, are responsible for large quatities of acid water. Agricultural pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides may wash into rivers and stagnant water bodies.

  • Sewage Disposal and Domestic Wastes
  • Sewage as wel as domestic and farm wastes were often allowed to pollute rivers and dams.

    Control Measures

    The following measures can be used to stop water pollution:

    • every intelligent people should be wise enough not to pollute water in any way;
    • by research and legislation the pollution of water bodies, even though not entirely prevented, must be effectively controlled.

    Land Pollution

    Land pollution is the degradation of the Earth’s land surface through misuse of the soil by poor agricultural practices, mineral exploitation, industrial waste dumping, and indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes. It includes visible waste and litter as well as pollution of the soil itself.

    Examples of Land Pollution

    Soil Pollution
    Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests). Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops and near shops.

    Waste Disposal
    The accumulation of waste threatens the health of people in residential areas. Waste decays, encourages household pests and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty and unhealthy places to live in.

    Control Measures

    The following measures can be used to control land pollution:

    • anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering;
    • organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential areas;
    • inorganic materials such as metals, glass and plastic, but also paper, can be reclaimed and recycled.

    Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment

    This is a little information that I wish to share. It is a general knowledge and this is one part of water treatment that I learn in Chemical Engineering.

    What is Reverse Osmosis?

    Reverse osmosis (R/O) is a water treatment process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that has very small holes or “pores”. Clean water passes through and impurities that are too big to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed away.

    Do I Need a Reverse Osmosis Unit?

    It is presumed in this document that the water you are using meets all health regulations and is known to be safe. If your municipality or utility supplies your drinking water, it is likely that you do not need a reverse osmosis unit. Municipally supplied drinking water is microbiologically safe. It is treated to meet health and aesthetic requirements, and is subject to routine testing for microbiological contamination.

    If you obtain drinking water from a private supply such as well, it may not be safe from microbiological, chemical, or other types of contamination. Drinking water from private sources should be tested periodically to determine if treatment is required; and, if so, for what specific contaminants or minerals.

    Water chemistry is complex and no single water treatment device can be used to remove all types of substances from water. Different drinking water treatment devices have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each household must individually determine if there is a need for additional water treatment. If this is the case, determine the unit or combination of units best suited for your water needs.

    How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

    Reverse osmosis systems purify water by forcing pressurized water through a very fine, plastic membrane. If the raw water being treated comes from a well or another private source, disinfection and pre-filters (to remove chlorine and/or particulates/sediment) may be needed in advance of the R/O unit to remove contaminants that can foul or damage the membrane.

    Stages of reverse osmosis:

    1. During the initial filtration stage, tap water or well water (pressurized by a booster pump) is passed through a particle filter (a pre-filter) that removes silt, sediment, sand, and clay particles that might clog the R/O membrane.
    2. The water is then forced through an activated carbon filter that traps minerals and contaminants such as chromium, mercury, copper, chloramine and pesticides. It also removes chlorine, which is important, as chlorine will shorten the life of the membrane.
    3. Water is transferred under pressure into the R/O module, allowing only clean water to pass through the small pores in the membrane. Impurities unable to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed down the drain.
    4. Treated water is then sent to a storage tank.
    5. Treated water is passed through an activated carbon filter before use to further improve the water’s taste and smell.

    Water that contains manganese, hydrogen sulphide or iron should be pre-treated to extend the life of the membrane. A dealer can recommend the pre-treatment needed.

    Note: Reverse Osmosis units produce no noise other than the sound of water discharging into the drain (usually a sink or a floor drain).

    What Are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis?

    Reverse osmosis can remove dissolved solids, salts, minerals that cause hardness, organic chemicals and other impurities. It can improve the taste of water for people who do not like the taste of dissolved mineral solids.

    Treated water will not produce scale in kettles and coffee makers. Because sodium and potassium are removed, people on a medically prescribed sodium- or potassium-restricted diet may benefit. R/O units may also remove contaminants such as chromium, mercury and nitrates. Before purchasing a R/O unit, check the certification and literature for the particular model to verify exactly what it can and cannot remove.

    Is Reverse Osmosis – Treated Water Safe to Drink?

    Reverse osmosis treatment systems remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from drinking water. If you consume a reasonably balanced diet, you do not need to take a mineral supplement when drinking water treated with a reverse osmosis system. Low levels of minerals in drinking water may be a concern for people living in countries with very hot climates.

    Is the Water Source Safe?

    A R/O unit should be used only with drinking water that is known to be safe to drink. Although reverse osmosis can remove microbiological contaminants, R/O does not disinfect the water to drinking standards. A flaw or tear to the membrane could allow untreated water to flow through the unit without removing disease-causing organisms. Remember if you are unsure of the quality of your water, get it tested. If you have any doubts about the safety of your water, then it should be disinfected before using a R/O unit.

    Making days become Cooler

    When we flash back to few days or maybe few months, we realize that the day had been very hot. Same as in Sabah, it was really hot that caused some of the forest to be on fire. It’s not that anyone was burning the forest but it was caused by the really hot heat from the sun to caused hot spot on some area of the forest.

    To make it simple, keep this basic – Lots of leaves from trees fall to the ground, the hot heat from sun evaporate the Water molecules inside causing it to become dried. Then when the leaves is totally dried, if we expose the leaves to more heat, the leaves will keep the heat and it will actually start fire when it reach the critical heat.

    So if the day was too hot for days or months, this will actually become too dangerous to the forest and even us. To think carefully, there is not much of a good to prevent the sun from reaching the forest. The easiest thing to do is to lower the heat of the sun from reaching the forest. But how can we do this?

    Compared to few years back, the amount of Sun that reach earth had been insanely increasing. Most scientific research found out that for decades, human activity had been supporting to the thinning of the ozones layer and was found out few years back that there is a hole created in the ozone layer in North Pole. This Ozone layer is actually a very important component of earth. It acts like a sun glasses for earth in which it filter the sun light that reach the Ground. So the thicker it was, the less sun light reach the earth and earth will be cooler.

    The easiest thing that we can do to lessen the heat from the sun was to stop deforestation. Stopping deforestation means we are preventing the cut down of the forest. When less trees is cut down, more carbon dioxide could be converted into oxygen and when more oxygen exist, world will be cooler. Plus when there is trees, more water could be evaporated and this will help in making more rain to falls.  The existence of more oxygen also helps in making and curing the hole in ozones.

    There is few other steps that could be taken to lessen the heat from the sun such as decreasing the effect of global warming, decreasing the release of chemical to our environment that might react with the air under the existance of heat and much more. But lets just focus this on stopping deforestation as it is among the easiest to be done by everyone.

    If government were to stop the deforestation and making the law to conserving all the forest area in their country, I believe in the coming years, we won’t see much drought. Plus this will also lower the risk of the forest to be on fire.

    On the way to Tuaran

    Yesterday, I went to Tuaran near 6pm and I take the road passing Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu Sabah. On the way there, I realize that the view was quite nice. So I stop at the road side and Take few pictures.

    One of the pictures is below;

    Taken on the road to Tuaran near Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu
    Taken on the road to Tuaran near Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu

    When I look at this picture, it was not a very good photo as you can see there is one road lamp without light (maybe the bulb has worn out or what so ever it is). Also the electric wire is a bit disturbing. By the way, the reason I take it here was, at the place just ahead, there is no straight road like this. Even if there is a road like this, I won’t be able to snap the view that I saw at the first time.

    In my style of photographing, one of my rules was to take the photo of the scene when I saw it is beautiful at that place because if you move to other angle of the place, you will have a 50-50 chance of getting a very good pictures and very bad pictures.

    Stop about that rule, there is this one picture that caught my interest;

    Did you see the black Smoke?
    Did you see the black Smoke?

    The photo was taken at the same place where I take the first photo. Can be seen in the photo, there is a bulk of black smoke. I was wondering, around that place there is no factory which requires to be run 24/7. But still at that time (which is not office hour) there still a factory running it’s machine.

    Not that they cannot run it but, why not let their machine stop working on time and why not help our mother nature to inhale fresh air??  Isn’t it nice if morning they let the machine work as long as 8 hours and let the other hours for the plants to absorb the Carbon dioxide, for the chemical to be degrade  to a better compound.

    I’ve been seen lots of factory been working more than the office hour. Is there any rules to stop this??

    Hope sooner there will be some changes.