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How does an Oil spill affect the Carbon cycle?

For my school work in Science!
by

Daniel Herten

on 27 May 2013

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Transcript of How does an Oil spill affect the Carbon cycle?

By Daniel Herten 9C Orange 2013-2014 How does an Oil spill affect the Carbon cycle? Spills can be caused by:
Natural disasters like hurricanes
Equiptment breaking
Acts by terroists, vandals, illigal dumping, and countries at war
People being careless or making mistakes How do Oil spills Occur? Approximately 20,000 oil spills are reported each year to the federal government.

One of the biggest recorded oil spills was the Exxon Valdez oil spill. When the oil tanker, the "Exxon Valdez", hit a reef on March 24 1989 it released 160,000 tones of oil into the enviroment. Oil spills around the globe Just like the Water or Nitrogen cycle, the Carbon cycle is just as important to keeping our world running the way it should be. Importance of the carbon cycle Many solutions have been thought of by scientists to try to prevent oil spills from affecting the costal enviroment and the carbon cycle, although not all meathods cost affecting or practical. An example of meathods used to try to clean up the oil spill would be to once again look at the Exxon Valdez. Possible solutions Although this is only a start to helping to reduce our impact over our world, scientists are constantly descovering and inventing new ways to do things, including ways to reduce oil spills and their affect on teh carbon cycle.

Not only are we starting to find ways reduce the way oil affects the carbon cycle, but companies like Exxon have started taking higher safety precautions so in the future nothing like the Exxon Valdez would happen again and ruin one of the many cycles of our world. The future Affecting the Carbon cycle Bibliography "How Do Spills Happen? | Response.restoration.noaa.gov." How Do Spills Happen? | Response.restoration.noaa.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013.

"Exxon Valdez Oil Spill." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 May 2013. Web. 22 May 2013.

"The Carbon Cycle." The Carbon Cycle. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013.

"Exxon Valdez | Emergency Management | US EPA." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 22 May 2013.

"Oil Spill Disaster 2010 Part118 Oil Spill Dispersants and How They Work." YouTube. YouTube, 11 May 2010. Web. 22 May 2013.

"How Do Oil Dispersants Work?" Popular Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013. The carbon cycle is very important in the food chain. At the base of the food chain are organisims such as plants and phytoplankton. The next organisims up eat the plants and phytoplankton and so on through the cycle.

If organisims who use photosynthesis do not receive enough carbon to produce food, the next organisim in the food chain cannot continue the cycle and keep the carbon flowing throughout our world. Anything that affects the Carbon cycle can have major impacts on how it flows. For example, u sas humans take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide of which is then taken by plants for photosynthesis. If we stop producing carbon, the plants die and cannot create food for other organisims in the chain. This works the other way as well as if plants stop producing oxygen through photosynthesis then we cannot produce carbon dioxide in return. Three methods were tried in the effort to clean up the spill:

Burning
Mechanical Cleanup
Chemical Dispersants Dispite Burning and Mechanical efforts being fairly obvious, Chemichal dispersants are a more complex meathod to cleaning up an oil spill. Corexit, a type of dispersant, contains six chemicals. The exact recipe is a secret, according to Corexit’s manufacturer, Nalco, but it contains a surfactant and a solvent. Surfactants are long molecules that are hydrophilic (water-seeking) on one end and oleophilic (oil-seeking) on the other. One end grabs a water molecule, the other, an oil molecule. By reaching across the oil-water boundary, the surfactant lowers the tension that keeps the two substances separate. Therefore redicuing the impact that the oil has on the water and it's enviroment.
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