Oil spills consequences over the environment

Oil spills consequences over the environment

Oil spills consequences over the environment

The recent oil spill from the Gulf of Mexico brought attention once again over the consequences that these accidents have over the environment. The British Petroleum oil spill is a serious problem for the environment and is already on the largest oil spills list, although its size has not been fully evaluated.

The largest oil spills recorded are:

– Lakeview Gusher incident in Kern County, California, United States, on May 14, 1910, with over 1,200,000 tons of crude oil.

– Gulf War oil spill in Persian Gulf on January 23, 1991, with 270,000 to 1,090,000 tons of crude oil.

– Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010: is estimated that in just 77 days the oil spill reached 350,000 to 600,000 tons of crude oil.

There are over 15 major oil spills recorded in the last one hundred years, all of them with more than 100,000 tons of crude oil discharged.

The oil spills have disastrous consequences over the environment, affecting the flora and fauna that comes in contact with. Once the oil gets into the water it becomes a very sticky substance that covers everything. Because of the wins and water currents, these spills spread on very large distances.

Among the effects that crude oil has over the animals include: hypothermia, poisoning, damage to immune systems, affecting also the feeding and breeding process of animals and birds. Oil spills also affect the marine ecosystem by damaging the sea grass beds and harming the algae.

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