July 21, 2014
Lori Keller Gulf Oil Spill
The Gulf Oil Spill has become the worst oil spill in United States history. Ultimately the spill ended up being 90 days of a leakage that resulted from an explosion of a wellhead deep below the ocean’s surface. (“Ocean Portal”, 2013)
Unfortunately this spill has caused many problems in the earth’s atmosphere as well as with wildlife. The spill has caused a type of air pollutants that are called aerosols. Aerosols are particularly dangerous to human life as the can effect ones lung and heart. Aerosols can also impact the climate by scattering incoming solar radiation. This scattering of incoming solar radiation will cause the Earth to cool, therefore, aiding in water-vapor condensation and cloud formation. (“National Geographic”, 1996-2014) The oil that was spilled into the water has directly polluted the waters of the gulf. Oil contains a very deadly chemical called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These chemicals that are found in oil have been known to cause cancer in humans. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) carefully monitors the amounts of these PAHs that can be found in seafood and ingested by humans. Seafood cannot be sold if it contains unhealthy levels of these PAHs. Since the spill much of the seafood from the gulf has been polluted and may not be sold for profit to be ingested by humans. (“Ocean Portal”, 2013)
The oil that was spill into the gulf has also impacted wildlife for several obvious reasons; such as, exposure to oil, restrictions to breathing, and drowning in the oil as it had limited mobility to many of the wildlife. However, researchers have discovered lesions in the bodies of fish. They are able to trace the oil found in the bodies of the fish. According to “Washington Post” (1996-2014), “We matched up the oil in the livers and flesh with Deepwater Horizon like a fingerprint…the findings debunk arguments that fish abnormalities could have been caused by other factors.” Unfortunately this spill has directly affected too many wildlife and the ramifications from the spill are going to keep appearing for many years to come.
To attempt to clean up as much oil as possible helpers used 5.5 million feet of boom to absorb oil in the ocean. Other attempts to clean up the oil spill were the controlled burning of the oil, and skimming the oil. The biggest help in cleaning up the oil spill is being done by bioremediation. According to “Scientific American” (n.d.), bioremediation—boosting microbial activity by ensuring a steady supply of such nutrients…those microbes have made quick work of the spill, consuming as much as 50 percent of the remaining oil already. However, the oil has slowed the speed of these microbes down. Because of this chemicals have been dispersed to aid the microbes in continuing to eat the oil from the gulf spill.
In response to the gulf oil spill, the Obama Administration has put into place many reforms on the drilling industry. Some of these reforms focus on enhancing drilling safety, workplace safety, and improvement to the offshore regulator. In enhancing drilling safety, the Obama Administration has required oil drillers do first…