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Human and Environmental Impacts

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Human and Environmental Impacts

Scientists differ if warming trends is part of the earth cycles or has anything to do with human activity. For example, "burning fossil fuels has increased the amount of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere worldwide" (Botos, 2002). "The Antarctic food web is sensitive so with any change, species will have an impact on other species" (Landcare Research, 2012).

With changes, Antarctica's clean air, water, and ice are under importance for scientists to understand how the environment is changing whether from natural causes or human activities. Human impacts include fishing, hunting, and many species of the Antarctic. Human impacts include "harvesting tons of krill because of its protein and vitamins" (Landcare Research, 2012), "harvesting species into extinction for economic benefits as well as soil, and sewage contaminations" in remote areas that may cause concerns for wildlife populations (Australian Government, 2012).

Mining is prohibited under the influence of Environmental Protocol. A large piece of ice that causes many animals to leave is contributed to Global Warming. Polar ice caps hold many clues in which will allow scientists to study the earth's natural climate cycles. "UV radiation can cause changes to phytoplankton, which may affect the food chain" (Ward, 2001). Other changes include the melting of ice that can lead to changes to higher sea levels worldwide.

Improving situations

In 1830, the Antarctic fur seals were on the threshold of extinction resulting massive declines. In 1960, the "Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Seals" allowed an establishment for limiting catches and zoning seasons. The Antarctic Treaty helps in protecting the Ross, Southern elephant as well as other fur seals in which Australians cannot hunt commercially (Australian Government, 2012). In 1933, Macquarie Island protected the seal population that became part of the wildlife sanctuary as well as being listed under the World Heritage among the Heard, McDonald Islands in 1977 (Australian Government, 2012).

Once the seals became protected, they have recovered and no longer endangered.

The Whaling Commission was established in 1949, which had little success when managing whales and at some point drove many businesses away successfully. The IWC became "effective when the humpback and the blue whales were fully protected" in 1960 (Australian Government, 2012). In 1970, other whales became protected, and in 1986 commercial whaling became suspended. Some whale species began to recover but most were incapable because of low reproductive rates.


Australian Government. (2012). Australian Antarctic



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