Murter eco patrol turns to science.

Datum objave: 15. April, 2016.

Last Saturday was ideal for laying around the house, watching TV and playing video games. However, it was not just a lazy Saturday for everyone. Members of the Murter eco patrol went to Argonauta early in the morning where they became little scientists and where they did different kinds of experiments. They also studied about climate change and its consequences and about the growing problem that is affecting the sea and killing its inhabitants – sea acidification.

In the last 10 million years of the Earth’s history oceans have been able to maintain a relatively stable level of acidity, but latest research shows that this balance in the sea is disturbed and that ocean acidification could have devastating consequences. Industrial progress has made undesirable consequences in the form of emission of billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases that have gone into the atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves in the ocean and the result of that reaction is carbonic acid that causes acidification of the sea. This chemical disorder inhibits shell growth and cause reproductive disorders in some species of fish.

Children learned about climate change and the damaging effects of CO2 and the increase in sea acidity. They also saw how deforestation only makes this problem bigger and why trees use up a lot of CO2. Children also learned about pH levels.

After the presentation, the children filled a questionnaire and discovered how they influence the planet and how much of Earth’s surface is necessary for their way of living.

After this, they took part in the part fun of the day – the experiments. By adding baking soda and vinegar to distilled water, children observed how the pH level of the solution changes, using litmus paper and bromothymol as pH indicators. In the next experiment, the children put the chalk that has a similar chemical composition as well as the shells of shellfish, in vinegar that represented acidified sea, and observed what will happen. After a few moments chalk was disintegrated. That also happened to the shells of mussels, that few days ago, facilitators left in vinegar. The shells of mussels have become soft and brittle.

Next Saturday they will be talking to local anglers and discover traditional ways of fishing while dealing with the problems of sustainable fishing.

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