Climate Detectives Projects 2018-2019

Project topic: Oceans

Project title: Astronerds saving the Earth

Team: Astronerds

2018-2019   5th Primary School of Salamina   Salamina   Greece   20 Student’s age: 8-9

Summary of the project

The local problem that we investigated was the oil spill resulted after the tanker Agia Zoni II carrying some 2,200 tons of crude oil sank near our island, Salamina. An intact ocean ecosystem is crucial for the ocean to fulfil its role as carbon sink in the global carbon cycle. Oceans are the biggest reservoir apart from the Earth’s solid rocks, for both organic and inorganic carbon. The seas also absorb about one quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions, part of which is sequested into the deeps through sinking material, while the organic carbon is a key element of the marine food chain. Environmental disasters like the oil spill that affected Salamina can have a negative impact on the carbon cycle.

Main results

In our research, we focused on two questions: a) where did the oil spill occur, how large was it and how did it evolve over time and b) what were the local effects of the oil spill. For the first question we used earth observation data (Copernicus Sentinel 2017) modified by the NKUA and Harokopio University. We managed to find Satellite maps of the wreck wider area (data: Sentinel 2, 13/9/2017) and images of the oil spill spread in the Gulf. For the second question we read interviews by members of the environmental organization (PERIVOS), who gave us an overview of the ecological impact, and interviews of local people, which provided us with personal experiences of how their health was affected by the oil spill (difficulty in breathing, eye irritation, headache, nausea) and how their economic activity deteriorated.

Actions to help lessen the problem

To lessen the problem we wrote letters to the mayor of the island in order to share our facts about the oil spill, solutions and ideas. We now realize that as a society, we depend too much on oil and this is why we decided to invite a representative of the European Commision “Energy Savings Team” in order to talk to us about how we can reduce the energy that we use end give her our feedback : imaginative clean energy ideas !

Projects are created by the teams and they take the full responsibility of the shared data.
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