Oil Spills result from the release of petroleum, otherwise known as crude oil. There are various sources from which oil spills can occur, such as underneath the seafloor, wells that obtain oil, and tanker ships. During an oil spill, most of the oils layer across the surface of the ocean forming a slick. Ocean and wind currents, with decreased surface tension, function as a catalyst to lengthen the slick. The slick diminishes the levels of oxygen previously available to marine life by drawing in microbes. Although microbes reduce the amount of oil, they drain most of the oxygen in the water during that process (“Oil Spills,” 2011). The toxins released from the oil spills present several short and long-lasting issues.
The natural processes such as oxidation and evaporation that happen to oil after a spill are scientifically defined as fate (“Oil Spills,” 2011). The weathering, breaking apart of rock by physical or chemical means, and erosion from waves and currents transport sand and pebbles, eventually leading to the formation of the gradient and shape of a beach (“Coastal erosion and Deposition,” 2008). There is a probability of a reduction in the weathering and erosion of beaches since the energy from weathering is exerted upon the separating of oil components (“Oil Spills,” 2011). One of the most infamous oil spills was the Gulf oil spill. The Gulf oil spill had spread near the coast of Louisiana, endangering many species of animals including seabirds and sea turtles (“Gulf oil spill,” 2011). Due to the decrease in marine life, the Gulf seafood industry sustained a tragic decline in the efficiency of its products. The workers participating in cleaning up the spill, along with other nearby residents, were shown to experience respiratory problems, nausea, and headaches (“Gulf oil spill,” 2011).
Oil spills posses a grave hazard to the industrial and environmental traits of the world, but there are still some solutions for oil recovery. For example, the oil can be burned after being accumulating it together with a fire-resistant boom. Booms are known as mechanical barriers utilized to prevent the spread of oil or as a barrier to transport the oil to a recovery area (“Oil Spills,” 2011). Dispersants are another less effective solution since they break up the oil on the surface into oil-dispersant globs that eventually sink to the seafloor, later to be consumed by microorganisms or uplifted onto beaches (“Oil Spills,” 2011). Although these resolutions reduce the amount of oil leftover after spills, oil spills are a prolonging global issue.
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