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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Polluted water is responsible for the tragedy of coral reefs

The disheartening condition of our wonderful coral reefs is one of the most painful examples of the shocking and perhaps irreversible environmental processes currently under way around us. According to an Australian study, the destruction of coral is caused by polluted river water, which inhibits their capacity to regenerate.

The recently published study has analysed data from 1995 to 2017 of 46 sites, and came to the conclusion that the sections where the coral reefs were exposed to polluted river water recovered much slower after bleaching, and were much more susceptible to other diseases, as well.

“Climate change and other environmental factors have already damaged a significant portion of the Great Barrier Reef. Its survival may depend on the extent to which it is able to resist those harmful impacts, and the degree to which it is able to recover after the destruction of the coral,” the researchers explained.

A 2018 report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has stated that one of the greatest risk factors is the water contaminated with effluent and artificial fertilizers that reaches the Great Barrier Reef from agricultural areas, therefore the WWF urged the introduction of laws that provide greater protection for that fragile wonder of the natural world.

The fate of the Great Barrier Reef depends on the extent to which it is able to regenerate after a disaster such as coral bleaching Photo: Shutterstock

Plastic is a slow and painful death sentence for whales

Scientists have studied the cetaceans washed ashore over the last twenty years. The saddest case was that of a 5.3 metre young sperm whale found on the island of Mykonos: it had swallowed 135 pieces of plastic weighing 3.2 kg in total.

40 tonnes of plastic waste removed from the ocean

Environmentalists removed more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, says a CNN news report.

Oceanic plastic waste is encrusting rocks along the shoreline

The patches of plastic that look like used chewing gum are not only indications of the amount of waste accumulating in the oceans, they also represent a risk for the organisms that live and feed on the rocks.

Billions of people live without clean drinking water and toilets

More than two billion people worldwide have no access to safely managed clean drinking water, while more than four billion people do not have adequate sanitation services, according to a report announced in Geneva by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

World record in underwater waste collection

On the 15th of June, 633 divers put on their diving suits and oxygen tanks and dove underwater by the shore of Deerfield Beach in Florida – to pick up litter.

Plastic in the Mediterranean Sea

Although the Mediterranean Sea represents less than 1% of the global ocean area, it contains 7% of the total quantity of microplastics. More than half a million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the sea every year, equivalent to 33,800 half-litre PET bottles thrown away every minute – a report published by the WWF on June 8, World Oceans Day, revealed.

Kisköre flooded with waste

In addition to climate change and global warming, the continuous production of inconceivable amounts of waste is also endangering our environment, and most of that waste consists of single-use plastics.

Giant dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico

Dead zone areas in the region are not new phenomena, but in 2019, the area affected by hypoxia, a condition of low oxygen that can no longer support any form of life has grown much larger than expected, and the cause is likely to be human activities.

Polluted waters may burst out in poisonous flames

An unexpected problem associated with the pollution of lakes came into focus last January, when a highly polluted lake in India caught fire because of the massive quantities of waste in it – and according to locals, it was not first time, either.

Chinese artist exhibits provocative piece consisting of bottled groundwater

The severe pollution of waters is an increasingly alarming problem, with many places around the world having no access to clean drinking water, which may have tragic consequences. In 2018, the Chinese artist Brother Nut put on a special exhibition to bring attention to the damage caused by water pollution.

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