Reach Topics Essay

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Environmental Disasters and Issues of Modern Times Environmental Science Research Topics Species Interactions and Biodiversity 1. Amazon Deforestation The Amazon is 5.7 million square kilometers and the largest continuous rainforest in the entire world. Since 1970, 1/6 of the Amazon has been cleared, mainly for beef, and increasingly for ethanol production. 2. Invasive Species – Ship Rats The Rattus Rattus is native to India, but it has spread to almost everywhere in the world. This rat has directly caused, or contributed to, the extinction of multiple wildlife species including a variety of birds, plants and other small mammals. They’re blamed for the incredible decline in seabirds on several islands, including many Hawaiian species. 3. Invasive Species – Zebra Mussels The zebra mussel, native to western Asia, spread to most of Europe starting in the 1700s. It was most likely introduced in North America in the mid-80s by a European cargo ship that released ballast water into the Great Lakes. They have caused loads of damage, especially to water intake pipes that they colonize and then clog. They also compete with native species for food, dramatically reducing the native populations. 4. Invasive Species – The European Rabbit in Australia The European rabbit has had an impact on many places, but especially in Australia. Rabbits are partially blamed for the extinction of almost an eighth of mammal species in Australia. They cause millions of dollars in agricultural damage a year, and cause serious soil problems. They also contribute to the flourishing of other non-native species, specifically foxes and feral cats, which cause further damage to the Australian ecosystem 5. Coral Reef Bleaching Ten percent of the world's reefs have been completely destroyed. In the Philippines, over 70% have been destroyed and only 5% can be said to be in good

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