Every living thing on Earth needs water to survive, but more than 100,000 species, including our own, need a special kind of water that can only be found in certain places and is in very rare supply: freshwater. The plants, animals, microbes, rocks, soil, sunlight, and water found in and around this valuable resource are all part of what is called a freshwater ecosystem. Less than three percent of our planet’s water is freshwater, and less than half of that is available as a liquid; the rest is locked away as ice in polar caps and glaciers. For these reasons, freshwater ecosystems are a precious resource.
Where is Freshwater?
Freshwater starts out as water vapor that has evaporated from the surface of oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water. When this vapor rises, it leaves salts and other contaminants behind and becomes “fresh.” The water vapor collects in drifting clouds that eventually release the water back to Earth in the form of rain or snow.
After freshwater reaches the ground through precipitation, it flows downhill across a landscape called the watershed to lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands. But freshwater can be found in less-obvious places too. More than half of all freshwater on our planet seeps through soil and between rocks to form aquifers that are filled with groundwater. The top surface of an aquifer is called the water table, and this is the depth where wells are drilled to bring freshwater into cities and homes.
Studying Freshwater Ecosystems
On the volcanic island nation of Iceland, explorer Jónína Herdís Ólafsdóttir studies freshwater ecosystems that develop from groundwater seeping into fissures. These fissures are large cracks, which are caused by the tectonic plates underneath the country shifting and pulling the bedrock apart. The crystal blue water in these fissures is barely above freezing temperature. Wearing scuba gear, Olafsdóttir drops into the water and collects biological samples, recording notes about the species of fish, crustaceans, algae, and other microbes that she finds. She was one of the first scientists ever to describe the biodiversity in these Icelandic fissure ecosystems. Scientists who study freshwater ecosystems are called limnologists. Limnologists want to learn what creatures live in an ecosystem and how they interact with each other through the ecosystem’s food web, as well as how they interact with their environment. This knowledge can help the researchers know when a freshwater ecosystem is healthy and when it may be in danger.
Smoking itself does not directly kill the environment, but it can contribute to environmental problems in several ways. One significant way is through the production and disposal of cigarette butts, which are the most commonly littered item worldwide. Cigarette filters are not biodegradable, and they can take many years to decompose. This litter can harm wildlife and contribute to pollution of waterways and other ecosystems.
Smoking also contributes to air pollution, which can harm both the environment and human health. Smoking releases many harmful chemicals into the air, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, which can contribute to smog and acid rain. Secondhand smoke can also be harmful to others and contribute to indoor air pollution.
Technology is a vast field, and there are many educational courses available in Career Vision Institute. The specific course you choose will depend on your interests and goals within the field of technology. Here are some examples of technology educational courses that you might find helpful:
Computer Science: This course is the study of computers and computational systems. It covers a wide range of topics, including programming, algorithms, data structures, computer organization, and more.
Information Technology: This course focuses on the use of technology in business and other organizations. It covers topics such as database management, networking, cybersecurity, and software development.
Data Science: This course is the study of how to extract insights and knowledge from data using statistical and computational methods. It covers topics such as machine learning, data mining, and big data analytics.
Mobile App Development: This course focuses on the development of mobile applications for iOS and Android devices.
These are just a few examples of the many technology educational courses available. It’s important to research your options and choose a course that aligns with your interests and career goals within the field of technology.