Sunday, May 30, 2010

The underwater contamination in Gulf of Mexico

Oil spill has formed huge ocean dead zones in Gulf of Mexico, and this is likely to cause huge damage to entire ocean food chain. Scientists fear the worst, in fact they believe that almost no marine life will escape the devastating effect of these gigantic dead zones.

The underwater contamination will have deadly impact as clouds of crude oil and chemical dispersants seem to be growing in size. The largest ocean dead zone is around 22 miles long, six miles wide and 3,300 feet deep – a volume that would take up half of Lake Erie.

Scientists estimate that some 8300 different species of plants and animals are at risk, and some species could even go extinct, like this is the case with bluefin tuna. Since the effects of this awful oil spill will last for years it will take long time before the scientists will know the true toll of this disaster.

This oil spill is far more serious than previous spills because with previous oil spills oil rose to the surface and was dealt with there, but the combination of using large amount of dispersants, as well as the weight of this particular crude oil and the pressure created by the depth of the leak has resulted that much of the oil has stayed submerged in clouds of tiny particles.

Current estimates say that 800,000 gallons of dispersants were sprayed in attempt to keep it offshore, but this has made things even worse because these dispersants are toxic to marine life, and once these substances enter the food chain they will do huge damage to many marine organisms.

Many marine scientists have also issued the warnings that this devastating oil spill couldn't come in worse time because this is the time when all the animals are reproducing and hatching, so final damage will likely be much bigger than first expected.

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