One World Newsletter March 2005 Vol 2 No#2
Environmental, Social and Business Development Issues Facing Our World
Welcome to our edition of our newsletter "One World". This is a monthly publication dedicated to providing you with knowledge and information to raise your awareness about sustainable development issues facing us in the contemporary world.
Most of the issues discussed are from within Australia, however as the theme is "One World" we will be providing information from all over the world.
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Our mission is to raise your awareness on sustainablity issues throughout the World, through independent, factual information, helping you can make the right choices to empower yourself in the uncertain times ahead.
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Greenhouse Effect and its possible implications
World's seas are becoming more acidic
of Coral on remote islands around the world
The Greenhouse Effect
History of the Greenhouse
2. Evidence of ice cores
3. Increase in surface temperature
of approximately 0.5 degC over 100 years as carbon dioxide levels increase
4. Sea levels are rising and small
glaciers are melting
What are the implications
of the Greenhouse Effect?
2. Changes in World's climate
What are the primary
Where do these Gases
Fossil Fuel contributions
Fossil Fuel Carbon to Hydrogen Ratio
Table 1: approximate carbon to Hydrogen ratio for various fossil fuels
CO2 Levels in the atmosphere
Percentage Contribution of Greenhouse gases to the Greenhouse Effect
Table 3: Percentage contribution of various Greenhouse Gases to the Greenhouse Effect
* Please note that CFCs have been phased out since the mid-nineties
To stablise atmospheric concentration of various gases at present day levels, the following reductions would be required instantly
Table 4: Reductions of Greenhouse Gases required to stablise atmospheric concentrations
1. Uncertainty in effects of clouds
2. Combustion of fossil fuels e.g coal
to Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) has cooling effect.
3. Variations in sun's output are responsible
for temperature increases.
4. Ocean levels will naturally increase due to thermal expansion of surface ocean water and melting of glaciers.
5. Natural regional climatic changes,
such as deforestation and bushfires, as opposed to global changes.
Policies for Greenhouse
2. Each country gets the same emission quotas on a per capita basis. These countries sell quotas to rich countries.
3. Rich countries could reduce emissions by 20% with no reductions required by poor countries.
4. Assume Australia which is high income
and high Greenhouse Gas emitter per capita is required to reduce emissions
Some methods of reducing CO2 emissions that have negative impact on our lives
In an upcoming edition we will examine the Kyoto Protocol (2001) and explain the implications.
Acidity level increases in the world's seas are affecting the production of calcium carbonate (limestone) in reef systems around the globe.
Due to an increase in carbon dioxide, from motor vehicles and industrial emissions, the world's seas are becoming more acidic after more than 10 million years of stable evolution. Although the changes are miniscule, whole ecosystems are in danger of dying out, if the reduction is not reduced drastically.
Scientists studying the phenomena in the Red Sea and the English Channel are worried that it is only a matter of time before the reef ecosystems begin to crumble, and as reefs around the world the are already in an unhealthy state, its not good news.
In the English Channel scientists from the Plymouth laboratories are studying the effect of increased acidity on keystone species such as the Starfish and the effects on its calcium carbonate shell.
[Source: ABC News ]
Fact #1: Two-thirds of Greenhouse
gases that are produced from agriculture come from livestock.
The balance comes from fertilisers, manures and effluent ponds.
Fact #2: Agriculture is Australia's second largest greenhouse gas polluter after the energy sector, methane from sheep and cattle accounts for about 14 per cent of Australia's greenhouse emissions.
Researchers are using Angus steer cattle
to help look into reducing the contribution of methane production in
ruminants as a major source of Greenhouse Gas emissions in Australian
The Angus steers are helping NSW Agriculture
researchers understand why cattle fed a common diet can produce wildly
different amounts of methane. Roger Hegarty, of NSW Agriculture, says
there is a strong link between cattle that use their feed efficiently
and cattle that produce less methane. "So that's what we're exploring
as a first goal," he said. "Our main interest is finding some
animals that we know are low methane producers and some animals that
are high methane producers and try to say, even within a breed, there's
this big variation in how much methane is produced. "We want to
try and capitalise on that as a general tool rather than just a breed
Using customised vacuum canisters, the researchers have estimated cattle produce an average of 250 litres of methane a day.
But according to Mr Hegarty, who is a
ruminant nutritionist, more importantly, it represents a 15 per cent
loss in potential energy. "It's an opportunity lost because there
are millions of days of feed energy that go up as methane each year
from the Australian herd and flock," he said. "So we're losing
the opportunity to be productive with that energy. It's wasted as methane
and I guess the negative side is that if we don't do something about
methane perhaps before too long someone will notice that agriculture
is quite a large emitter. "Until now we haven't been at all proactive
about reducing those emissions. "Largely that's because we don't
have the tools and we don't have the tools because we haven't been driving
a research agenda that can come up with those solutions that agriculture
For many producers methane has been seen
as just another costly problem, but recent advances in microbiology
point to solutions, which can reduce methane and boost production at
the same time.
At the CSIRO's livestock research centre
in suburban Perth, custom-built methane chambers are testing sheep that
have been immunised for methane resistance. The CSIRO'S Andrew Wright
describes the layout: "There are four chambers here in this lab.
You can see the animals can see each other, they're quite content, they
have their feed, they have their water, and there's an adequate supply
of air flow, roughly 200 litres per minute."
Mr Wright says they are trying to use
the animal's immune system to target microbes that live naturally in
their gastro-intestinal tract. "The vaccine work we're doing is
quite novel indeed," he said. "It's the first time vaccines
have been used in a non-disease prevention cause and CSIRO has the patent
in Australia, New Zealand, parts of the European Union as well as North
America so we're the only laboratory in the world currently doing this
type of research."
Mr Wright, project leader, says improved
molecular technologies have helped scientists better understand the
complex ecosystems within the guts of ruminants like sheep and cattle.
"The microbial activity in the rumen
is highly diverse and extremely complex. In a single millilitre of rumen
fluid you expect to see a thousand million bacteria, a hundred million
methanogens, and a hundred thousand protozoa cells per one millilitre,"
Although another three years from full
commercialisation, the Perth team believes immunisation will be a low-cost
solution with each inoculation costing producers about 25 to 50 cents
per sheep and up to a dollar for cattle. The team expects its newly
commissioned methane chambers to confirm its earlier ground-breaking
results. "We're confident the vaccines will work," Mr Wright
"Our latest study which was done
at Rockhampton in Queensland, where we used respiration chambers there
that were initially designed for cattle, we ended up getting roughly
a 13 per cent abatement of methane after vaccination in animals compared
to control animals. "This was about 10 weeks after vaccination.
We've also been able to show in the laboratory in test tubes that we
can reduce methane emissions in the neighbourhood of 40 to 60 per cent.
"At this stage in our research we're
certainly focussing on the abatement aspect and once we are able to
fine tune the vaccine work we would hope to see some productivity benefits
Athol Klieve, from the Queensland Department
of Primary Industries, says the whole idea of the fermenter is that
it mimics what's going on in the rumen so it's continuously kept anaerobic
by bubbling through with an anaerobic gas, carbon dioxide in this case,
and it has artificial saliva run through it to keep the PH at the right
level similar to the rumen and it's kept at the same temperature as
the rumen," Athol Klieve, Queensland Department of Primary Industries
The fermentation machine will soon also
be used to test another potential world first solution for methane abatement.
"What you're doing is selecting bacteria
that you want to do a specific job and you're putting it into that new
ecosystem, we'll be looking for bacteria that are able to out compete
methanogens that are present in the rumen and instead of methane they'd
be looking to produce acetate which is an energy material then available
to the animal," he said. Mr Klieve is confident the research will
have a major impact on methane abatement. "Well at his stage we
couldn't say exactly what percentage it will reduce but it is possible
that we could reduce it by a very large amount including up to totally
eliminating it," he said. "So that would mean there's between
10 and 15 per cent more energy available to cattle and sheep to be able
to use for productive purposes than there is now and that they wouldn't
need any more feed to get that from, that would come from the feed they're
The Queensland research is also about
three years from commercialisation. In the meantime, a more immediate
challenge for Australia's livestock industry is how to incorporate greenhouse
friendly management into production systems.
Since the Australian Greenhouse Office
was established in 1998 the Federal Government has invested a billion
dollars in greenhouse gas abatement. So far though, the percentage of
that money that has gone to agriculture could at best be described as
token. The Australian Greenhouse Office's David Ugalde says the focus
of the Greenhouse Office has been on energy and transport and is now
increasing its program on agriculture.
"There'll be a considerable research
program allocated over the next four years possibly $1.5 million towards
a research program to be able to address greenhouse gas emissions in
agriculture," he said.
"It's a fantastic time really we're
just coming into a great era for research," Mr Hegarty said. "I
guess because we think we can actually deliver something in a reasonable
time frame for industry to make a difference.
[Source: ABC Landline Report: By: Sean Murphy]
According to a recent theory, it's all down to volcanoes. What is the connection between an explosive volcano and a tranquil coral reef? At first sight, they may seem to have little in common, but it turns out that some violent volcanic eruptions, such as that of Krakatau in Indonesia in 1883, have been responsible for breathing fresh life into coral reefs that live many thousands of miles away.
The spectacular coral reefs around Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean benefited particularly from Krakatau's fireworks in 1883, while the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, owes much of its dazzling diversity of coral species to undersea volcanic eruptions near the Tonga Trench, north of New Zealand. Linking these explosive volcanoes and magnificent coral reefs are the ocean currents that act like highways across the ocean.
For the past 20 years, Paul Jokiel from the University of Hawaii has been studying coral reefs and pondering how coral can spread around the world. Coral cannot swim or fly across vast oceans, so how do remote islands become surrounded by exotic species of coral? Living in Hawaii, Jokiel was well placed to study the arrival of new corals and one day he noticed a clue, close to the beach. "I found corals attached to floating volcanic pumice and this made me wonder where the pumice had come from," he explains.
Pumice is the lightweight rock produced by fizzing volcanoes that contain lots of gases. These volcanoes spew out frothy magma, which cools into a light, spongy rock. Because of its bubbly texture and low density, pumice can float on water. If the pumice gets swept into one of the ocean's surface currents, then it can be towed along for thousands of miles. Could it be that coral hitch-hikes across oceans on floating lumps of pumice? To test this idea Jokiel realised that he needed to be able to trace the origins of the pumice that washed up on the beach in Hawaii.
Volcanoes differ in the chemistry of the magma that they erupt. Some volcanoes contain more iron oxide, others more potassium oxide. "Geologists can 'fingerprint' magmas from different volcanoes by comparing their chemistry," explains Jokiel. To identify the different chemical elements making up a piece of pumice they use a technique called X-ray fluorescence. The rock is bombarded with X-rays, causing the electrons around each atom to become so excited that they jiggle about. As the electrons settle back down again, the extra energy is re-emitted as an X-ray again. Different elements re-emit different X-rays of characteristic wavelengths. Using this information, geologists can calculate the proportion of each element and compound inside a rock.
Jokiel started collecting pumice from all over the world and used X-ray fluorescence to "fingerprint" its origins. He has identified eruptions from many different places and has built up a sizeable record of the voyages that some of these pumice flows experienced. For example, the pumice from the 1883 eruption of Krakatau was particularly adventurous: after the eruption, pumice drifted both west - across the Indian Ocean - and east - through the Sunda Strait. Ten months later, Krakatau pumice was washing up on the shores of Zanzibar over 6,000 miles away, and after one year, it had reached Durban in South Africa. Much of the pumice going east got caught up in large eddies and swirled around the Maldives and Sri Lanka for two years. Eventually some of the pumice escaped and travelled out into the Pacific, reaching places like Hawaii and Christmas Island.
Part of the reason that the pumice from the Krakatau eruption spread so far and wide was because it was a huge eruption that produced an enormous volume of pumice. But another important factor is that Krakatau was located close to lots of ocean currents, allowing the pumice to disperse in all directions very quickly.
Having realised that pumice is quite capable of crossing oceans, Jokiel, and his colleague Fenny Cox, wanted to see if coral could survive the ride and if there was a pattern linking the species richness of coral reefs with their proximity to pumice trails. During the last two years they have been collecting pumice samples from both Hawaii and Christmas Island and working out where it has come from. They have also been experimenting with growing coral on pieces of pumice to see if the coral can manage to cling on.
Christmas Island lies about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii and its beaches are littered with pieces of pumice. "We identified that the pumice on Christmas Island came from the western Pacific Ocean (Krakatau), the south-western Pacific Ocean (Tonga Trench), the east Pacific Ocean (Mexico), the South Atlantic Ridge and one other unknown source," says Jokiel. By contrast pumice is fairly rare on Hawaii and they could only identify three sources: the South Sandwich Islands, Mexico and Krakatau.
Back at the outdoor aquaria at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology they discovered that coral was just as happy to grow on pumice as it was to grow on its normal bedrock of carbonate. This showed that theoretically there was no problem with coral hitching a lift across the ocean on a piece of pumice.
Next they investigated the diversity of coral species around each island. The reef around Christmas Island is bursting with different colours, shapes and sizes of coral, reflecting the 81 species that live there. Meanwhile, Hawaii has a much more restricted range with only 50 different species of coral.
Piecing this evidence together has led Jokiel and Cox to believe that the increased diversity of coral around Christmas Island reflects the fact that the island lies in a confluence of oceanic currents, allowing new species of coral to hitch across the ocean on miniature rafts of pumice. Christmas Island sits at a "spaghetti junction" of ocean highways, while Hawaii, by comparison, sits right out in the marine equivalent of the sticks.
And pumice is not the only form of transport that coral colonies use to move around the globe. "Coral can raft on to many different types of floating objects, from pumice to large drifting trees and logs and even man-made flotsam such as discarded shoes," says Jokiel. "Nature has given us a major natural experiment, putting large amounts of drift tracers [pumice] into the ocean so that we can study the currents."
Given that pumice can be reliably traced
to its origins, it may even be possible, using pumice, to study how
ocean currents moved in the past. As the pumice floats away from the
volcano, its bubbly structure becomes waterlogged. The smallest fragments
sink first, followed by larger pieces later. "There is a pattern
of pumice contained in the deep-sea sediments that could reveal the
pattern of pumice-drift prior to sinking," explains Jokiel.
Downstream of the volcano, a pumice trail is laid across the ocean floor, with bigger and bigger pieces sinking down as time goes by. Geologists often discover particles of pumice in sediment cores drilled from the sea floor. Dating and chemically analysing the source of these pieces of pumice could reveal the direction of ancient ocean surface currents.
Where was the spaghetti junction of ocean currents in the past and has Hawaii always been off the beaten track? These are the kind of questions that are important to climate scientists and pumice could help to answer them all. As well as transporting pumice, driftwood and flotsam, ocean currents are responsible for moving heat and influencing the weather. Understanding precisely how ocean currents moved in the past will help climate scientists to unravel weather patterns and produce better climate models for the future.
It is perhaps some consolation to think that something worthwhile results from these destructive volcanoes. The 1883 eruption of Krakatau generated terrifying tidal waves and a gigantic ash cloud that blocked out the Sun for several days. But now the pumice from that deadly eruption is providing a map of ocean surface currents and is helping us to understand the workings of our planet a little better. And although Krakatau was bad news for humans at the time, it was fantastic for corals. Ocean currents swept coral colonies all over the world on their pumice rafts. Many of the dazzling coral reefs that we admire today owe their existence to the corals that arrived on pumice and driftwood rafts in the past.
Source: Robert Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
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Want to know how to run your business better? Find out what small business owners and operators consider the most important tips for helping your business succeed.
is our selection of the top 18 business tips received from entrants
to the recent ninemsn Small Business/Microsoft competition.
Source MSN Small Business Network
If you are considering starting a business, then having a proper business plan is essential. It provides a roadmap for your business. If you were going on a long distance journey to somewhere you haven't been before, common sense would dictate that you take a map with you. So why wouldn't you do the same for your business? It's surprising how many people carry out a new venture without the essential tool of a business plan, which provides their road map. Then again, it's not surprising how many businesses fail.
Having a business plan gives you a realistic and better understanding of what is required and what you may be up for. It can also give you a professional approach to starting a business.
There are many variations on writing a business plan however they all must essentially have the same information. They must answer the what, where, why and how's of the business. If done correctly, the business plan can be a formal tool for your business which is essential for attracting investors or applying for business loans from your bank. It will give you more credibility when approaching bank managers and potential investors.
The following is a guide for the layout of a business plan, which helps you focus on your marketing and sales effort, which is essentially 90% of your business:
For further information contact Tobi Nagy: email@example.com
by SDS Consulting 2005