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Problems and Concerns caused by Human Influences on the Environment Index

Agriculture
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Fact File No. 77

Each super-tanker carries 500000 tonnes of oil. Each year 3 million tonnes of oil are leaked into the oceans.

 

Fact File No. 78

1 tonne of oil which leaks into the sea covers 12km3 of the sea surface.

 

Jean-Michel Cousteau inspects a beach where oil has washed ashore  © photo courtesy of the Cousteau Foundation, USA

Jean-Michel Cousteau inspects a beach where
oil has washed ashore
© photo courtesy of the Cousteau Foundation, USA

PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS CAUSED BY HUMAN INFLUENCES ON THE ENVIRONMENT

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Oil Spills

Although examples of natural pollution exist, humans are often to blame for the introduction of pollutants into the environment. Such an introduction of a pollutant can be by accident or intentionally. One example of an accident is an oil spill. An oil spill happens when a ship carrying oil has a problem during its journey from the country which produced the oil to the country buying it. The oil is difficult to clean up and poisons the water as well as the fish and birds which live in the region.

 

Fact File No. 76

During the night of 23 March, 1987, a super-tanker named the Exxon Valdes carrying 163000 tonnes of crude oil spilt 40000 tonnes of its cargo into Prince William Bay, Alaska. The oil spillage affected 1500 km of the Alaskan coastline, causing the death of 100 000 birds, including 150 bald eagles, and at least 1000 sea otters. It is not known how many seals perished; only 30 carcasses were found but seals sink when they die, therefore the majority of dead seals sank to the bottom of the sea.

 

 

The Exxon Valdes in Prince William Bay © photo courtesy of the Cousteau Foundation, USA

The Exxon Valdes in Prince William Bay
© photo courtesy of the Cousteau Foundation, USA

 

 

 

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