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A cargo ship discharging ballast water into the sea. The environmental impact of shipping includes greenhouse gas emissions, acoustic, and oil pollution. Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping were equal to 2.
2012 and expects them to rise 50 to 250 percent by 2050 if no action is taken. Ballast water discharges by ships can have a negative impact on the marine environment. Cruise ships, large tankers, and bulk cargo carriers use a huge amount of ballast water, which is often taken on in the coastal waters in one region after ships discharge wastewater or unload cargo, and discharged at the next port of call, wherever more cargo is loaded.
Ballast water discharge typically contains a variety of biological materials, including plants, animals, viruses, and bacteria. These materials often include non-native, nuisance, invasive, exotic species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems along with serious human health problems.
Noise pollution caused by shipping and other human enterprises has increased in recent history. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species has identified ocean noise as a potential threat to marine life.
The disruption of whales’ ability to communicate with one another is an extreme threat and is affecting their ability to survive. According to Discovery Channel’s article on Sonic Sea Journeys Deep Into the Ocean, over the last century, extremely loud noise from commercial ships, oil and gas exploration, naval sonar exercises and other sources has transformed the ocean’s delicate acoustic habitat, challenging the ability of whales and other marine life to prosper and ultimately to survive. Whales are starting to react to this in ways that are life-threatening.
Balcomb, a whale researcher and a former U. S Navy officer, states that the day March 15, 2000, is the day of infamy. As Discovery says, where him and his crew discovered whales swimming dangerously close to the shore. They’re supposed to be in deep water.
So I pushed it back out to sea, says Balcomb. Although sonar helps to protect us, it is destroying marine life.
According to IFAW Animal Rescue Program Director Katie Moore, “There’s different ways that sounds can affect animals. There’s that underlying ambient noise level that’s rising, and rising, and rising that interferes with communication and their movement patterns. And then there’s the more acute kind of traumatic impact of sound, that’s causing physical damage or a really strong behavioral response.