The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has caused tremendous damage to the surrounding environment. Oil was released into the Gulf’s waters for over two months, and the impact is still being felt. This spill has caused a lot of damage to already weakened ecosystems in the Gulf, and it will continue to have long-term effects.
As the oil spill continues to spread throughout the water, scientists are trying to understand how it affects the overall ecosystem in the Gulf. Some scientists are looking at the way the oil was spread, and how it has affected microbial populations in the area. Others are trying to determine how much oil has been deposited on the sea floor.
One scientist is using underwater robots to take samples of soil and other things to see if the oil has had an effect. She has found thin layers of oil in areas that have been heavily oiled.
Scientists are also looking at the damage to animals. A recent study showed that dolphins have died in some heavily oiled areas. However, it is unclear whether this was a result of the oil, or if it is just natural. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), many marine animals were exposed to the oil in coastal waters. There are estimated to be tens of thousands of sea turtles in these areas.
While scientists have been trying to understand the impact of the spill on marine life, there have been few actual studies. The only studies that have taken place have been funded by the GoMRI, a non-profit that works to promote conservation and research in the coastal zone.
After the oil was released, it spread along the entire water column. Some of it floated to the surface, while others sunk to the seafloor. Chemical dispersants were used to break it up. These dispersants were beneficial to animals on the surface, but they can also enter the food chain and harm wildlife.
Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found dead dolphins in heavily oiled areas. Researchers also found that the damage to these animals will affect them for years. It is estimated that the oil has killed at least 5 trillion fish.
The National Wildlife Federation, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Gulf Coast Recovery Council have all worked together to repopulate sea turtles in the area. Scientists have been trying to determine how the oil and chemicals have affected the microbial communities in the area. They have also been investigating whether or not the damage will affect the health of marine mammals.
There are still plenty of questions about the impact of the Gulf Oil Spill on the environment. There are many scientists and researchers that have descended on the Gulf region to gather data. But the information is still being collected, and there is a long way to go before we can fully understand the consequences of the disaster.