Deepwater Horizon blowout: impacts on building blocks of ocean life


28 #ocean #biodiversity #oil #fossil fuel #climate changeĀ 

On the seafloor of Gulf of Mexico rests more than 2,000 historic shipwrecks spanning 500 years of history, serving as artificial reefs and hotspots of biodiversity by providing hard substrate, something rare in deep ocean regions. The impact of 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on those building blocks of ocean life associated microbiomes however is rarely understood.

A recent publication on Scientific Reports is the first to address such impact, and found significantly reduced biodiversity at seven historic shipwrecks which were exposed to deposited oil relative to unimpacted sites. It indicates that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster may have had a lasting impact upon even the smallest organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. It is amid warnings from the authors that the oceans around America are also under fresh assault as a result of environmental policies under Donald Trump.

Please refer to the original publication on Scientific Reports and the news report on the Guardian for more details.

(Hamdan (2018) The impact of the Deepwater Horizon blowout on historic shipwreck-associated sediment microbiomes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 9057)