Wollongong卧龙岗代写assignment 环境科技论文 Effects Of Oil Spills On The Environment
The groups of plants and animals that are distributed by their regional climate and mostly identified according to their type of climate vegetation are known as Biomes. A biome can also be called a biotic area where life is well adapted to its own environment. Biomes are collection of ecosystems worldwide with climax communities living in particular area with similar climate. As human population gets higher, the biomes are also being dramatically affected by their behaviors (Woodward, 2003). The “gulf oil spill” is the worst disaster in the history of United States. The contamination of oil into the ocean changes the environment of the living organisms that are not used to with living in such drastic environment; as a result, it impacts the marine life to a higher degree than anything else. Not only because it’s destroying the source of food but also it’s diminishing the living habitat of the living organisms. Since, in an ecosystem one animal depends on another animal as a source of food, all the animals can be severely affected by changing the variables of the common habitat (Krugel, 2010).
Since 1976, there is at least one history of oil spill (Marine Group 1). It is estimated that approximately 706 million gallons of oil enter the ocean every year (Marine Group 3), however; the recent events would change the number to a significantly higher number. According to the scientists, even though it does not take very long for the oil to be spilled and spread but it takes years to recover and it’s almost impossible to get the ecosystem back to its original state. When oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico, the cohesive characteristic of oil kept it together and eventually spread them across the ocean via waves, current and wind. They break up in the case of rough seas and drift along from one place to another, and impact upon natural habitats and marine environment. Oil is partially made of volatile organic compounds, absence of what makes the oil much denser and viscous. As a result the residue of oil after dissolving and dispersing in the water creates a thick layer on the surface ground and stays there for years. The toxicity of that thick layer destroys many of the organisms that are living on the surface including primary producers. It also prevents animals from their necessary deposit feeding.
The gulf oil spill was bigger than any other oil spills, so the impact of it is also bigger than the rest. During the three long months of deep water horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, released a total of 4.9 million barrels of crude oil in the ocean with an estimated escape of 53,000 barrels of oil per day (Boxal, 2010). This devastating disaster had its primary impact on ocean biome along with many other food chains and ecosystems. Starting from Rocky Intertidal zone to shore marine environments, pretty much all the major marine zones were affected in some way. Primarily when the oil was emitted because of oil’s physical property, it comes up to the intertidal zone which is the part that’s exposed to the air. From there the oil floats from one place to another especially when there are thousands of barrels of oil gushing up to the surface and pushes the upper most surface for room. As a result, the oil spread out very quickly and was able to cover up the area of about 68,000 square miles (Boxal, 2010). The highly productive zone of the ocean biome, The Rocky Subtidal Zone, was also impacted. The oil disaster also impacted on the oceans twilight and the darkest zones, the mesophelagic and the betthyphelagic zones and fouled the ocean with toxic broth of oil, methane, chemical dispersant, drilling mud and many more (Whitty, 2010). Highly toxic oil prevents sediments from the seafloor to react and bury the toxic arsenic, which is naturally produced, and allows arsenic level to rise up by shutting down the arsenic filtration system. This disrupts the photosynthesis in planktons, kills animals that feed on poisoned prey and changes the marine life (Nijhuis, 2010). “Never before in human history has the vast food web of the ocean–rooted in the dark, and flowering at the surface–come under so many assaults from below, above, and within the water column:Â marine warfare masquerading as a cleanup” (Whitty, 2010). BP estimated about 36 billion dollars to spend on cleaning up of the oil spill. People were cleaning up the tar balls that were found on the shore. Affected animals were taken to the recovery centers. Unlike Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, the oil gushed in from the sea floor and oil interfered in every single food sources. According to some specials, most of the oil is still under water and contaminated (Brown, 2010). Since every level of ocean ecosystem and the food chain is depended upon one another, therefore, change in one ecosystem also can play a huge role in another.
The effect on animals and the wild life is horrible. Many species have become endangered and threatened. Brown Pelicans, which just recently came off the endangered species list, is back on the list. Hundreds of pelicans found dead after the explosion and thousands of them were found by the shore covered with grease. These birds can take oil to their nest and destroy the eggs or suffocate the young. Volunteers, naturalists, scientists collected the birds and animals found by the shore and helped them clean up and set nest to somewhere safe. According to the researchers, the birds that were depending on those wetlands would not completely be safe (Krugel, 2010). Around the wetland, the season was the reproductive season for many species. The marsh grasses play a vital role in ocean animal’s reproduction. It’s the home for reproduction for important species like shrimp. But the gush of oil destroyed the habitat and wiped out the population of brown shrimp larva. Many vertebrates depend on the marshes for their breeding season and for protection of their larva Local fishermen that were depending on the breeding season of the Brown Shrimp, are now hopeless (Nijhuis, 2010). They cannot go to the ocean for haunting fish because they don’t want to poison anybody but again, they have no income without going to the ocean. Since the US economy is depended on shrimp production therefore this year they are highly depending on shrimp farms. Marshes are also a primary food source for many ocean animals (Nijhuis, 2010). Since many marshes were destroyed by the oil, the reproduction process became a challenge for many animals. According to the reports and data, 6,140 birds were killed and 2,079 birds were rescued alive, of which 1,246 birds were cleaned up and released (Krugel, 2010). Along with birds and shrimp, turtles, dolphins, sperm whales, sea cucumber, blue fin tuna, oysters and many other known and unknown species suffered tremendously. According to the specials, this loss may take years to recover.
Without any doubt, this was one of the largest oil disasters in history. However, necessary steps could have been taken in order to reduce the oil gush. The president of United States took early decision by asking for help from the best scientists of the country to tackle the situation because a leak like this big was completely uncontrollable by human. The government helped BP by providing them necessary equipments at the primary stage. The federal government also took the charge of the largest environmental clean up process of the history by admitting about 30,000 workers and thousands of cleanup ships and 13,000 national guard members (Obama, 2010). US government also offered to provide necessary resources for the BP Company to stop the spill (Obama, 2010). Even after all that, it took about 3 months to put on a cap to stop the spill of the oil completely. US government should have taken necessary steps before this took place. Even after all that, the federal effort was slowing down as the spill was getting bigger and bigger. At first where US President, Barack Obama, first took the heat on to him but eventually he was blaming on the difficulties of BP. The administration established an impression that was not clear and competent for general people. In some of the US official reports, they said that most of the oil spill was disappeared, which was completely not justified. As a result, the white house response became very confusing to the general public and the official then reassured that the confusion could not hinder the response to the spill. Some reports say that the agencies were trying to hide the gravity of the spill and the report given by National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, which states the shore impacts and related reasoning (Mufson &Fahrenthold, 2010). The office of Manage and Budget (OMB) claimed to review all the significant issues that were provided by the agencies to assure the presidential priorities and economic assessment. But on the other hand, OMB was stopping NOAA from releasing their reports before OMB censored it (O,Keefe, 2010). From my opinion, the US government should have always been prepared and have the proper technology to stop any kind of disaster that takes place under any condition. If they were prepared for the worst, then the environment would not be damaged that badly and perhaps we could have saved thousands of gallons of oil from becoming tar balls and destroying common natural habitats for thousands of species.