1. Thesis Statement

It has been argued that the use of microorganisms can be applied in oil spill control, in addition to the use of mechanical methods. It has also been argued that the digital technology can be useful in the effort of controlling oil spills. This is because there are certain types of microbes that decompose oil in their metabolic processes. This paper explains that the application of these microorganisms can assist in oil spill control. This paper explains the feasibility of success of these techniques implementation in oil spill control.

  1.  Argumentative essay on the use of microorganisms to control oil spill in the sea

It has been found that the use of microbes is applicable in degradation of oil since there are species of microbes that depend on oil for survival. The process occurs when there is an oil spill. The activities of microbes can be considered in terms of their adaptation to the environment in which there is an oil spill. When there is an oil spill, they quickly start degrading the oil, decomposing it into its constituent compounds. The oil is decomposed through physical and chemical processes. The ability to metabolize oil is also a factor of the type of microbes since some are more effective as compared to others. For instance, there are microbes that only metabolize hydrocarbons rather than energy sources and they are capable of multiplying faster in the environment in comparison to the oil spills. They are also capable of using a range of food sources as well as constituents of oil as some of the compounds that they can utilize to ensure their growth (Scientific American Inc, 2012).

It is arguable that the use of microorganisms can be applied in controlling oil spills in water bodies such as oceans, seas and lakes. Biological cleaning of oil spills is considered a significant approach in the oil spill control in comparison to the mechanical methods of controlling the condition. The use of microorganisms is considered more preferable when there is a need to preserve the environment since the products of these microorganisms’ use result into production of compounds that are not harmful to the environment. The use of microorganisms is dependent only on the consumption of hydrocarbons, hence providing a better alternative to other methods of oil spill control. This is achievable by using fertilizers that are spread out over the spill so that the growth of microorganisms is promoted. By applying these fertilizers to the oceans and water bodies, growth of microorganisms is observable and it has been observed that there is a drastic change in appearance of waters at the seas and other water bodies.

The use of hungry microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi and fertilizers can be used to accomplish this process (University of Delaware, 2012). The growth of these microorganisms results into breaking down of oil into noticeable fragments and other compounds. This results into intermixing of the remaining oil with high forms of marine life.

The process of breaking down of oil into oil fragments can be done by initiating aerobic processes. This is because oil can be changed while it is underground. There are also other microorganisms that already exist in areas where there are oil spills. These microorganisms can be provided with nutrients that will ensure they are able to multiply and increase the process of degradation of oil spills. However, adding new microbes is considered the best practice in the control of microorganisms.

The complexity of the ecosystem and finely tuned parts that are involved in the development of symbiotic relationships leave a possibility of causing a damage to anything that ensures there is a balance in interactions that occur between them. Subsea oil plumes result into a bloom in oil-chomping microbes that consume oil while using oxygen in the process, and there might be a drop in the marine oxygen which threatens life. In addition, there is no environmental drawback associated with the use of microbes to control oil spills. However, the use of excess fertilizers results into die-offs by triggering the damage of algal blooms.

The limitation associated with the use of microbes in controlling oil spills is that it is a slow process and does not meet the urgency required in the initial clean up. This makes it a slow process that cannot be used to mitigate environmental threats. It is also not considered a practical approach in offshore activities where there are high-energy waves that quickly dilute nutrients that are needed for the growth of microbes. In addition, it cannot be used to control the effects of oil when the spill has escaped containment, evaded cleanup or moved into living spaces of marine as well as terrestrial life species. Finally, the products formed by degradation of oil by microorganisms may lead to formation of compounds that are harmful to the marine life. These compounds may be deleterious to lives of many living organisms in the sea (Biello, 2012).

The use of bioremediation is considered significant since it provides a great alternative to other methods of oil spill control. It is cost effective and environmentally friendly as well as productive compared to mechanical methods that are currently being used to control oil spills. It is considered most effective when mixed with fertilizers that encourage the growth of microorganisms and spread over the water. The use of microbes to control oil spills in coastal areas is generally considered a viable approach towards controlling the amount of oil in the sea. However, it cannot be used to remove oil that has seeped into the land since the oil cannot be reached by microorganisms. This leads to the need to use other methods of controlling oil spills in addition to the use of microbes. However, the use of fertilizers in addition to inclusion of fertilizers into the microbes can result into enhancement of their growth, thus ensuring that the process of oil degradation is accomplished at a fast rate.

  1. The argument in the case of digital space

The use of digital technology can also be useful in the oil spill control. This refers to a process where digital equipment is used to ensure that leakages are detected and corrected in any location in the sea whether there is spilled oil is determined. This assists in determining the approaches that can be used to remove the spilled oil. It is also significant in ensuring activities for removal of spilled oil targeted towards the regions that have spilled oil. The use of digital technology is considered significant in attaining this objective. The use of meteorological and land observation satellites can be useful in monitoring the oceans. For instance, the nimbus satellite contains sensors and scanners that can be used for monitoring the temperatures of the oceans with high levels of resolution to detect pollution such as oil spills. These detections are observable in the upper levels of the water column. These satellites also collect information regarding currents and water temperatures which are useful information for dealing with issues related to the oil spills and assisting in introduction of compatible microbes that can degrade the oil. Other digital facilities, such as CZCS Sensors can be used to determine water reflectance as a result of phytoplanktonic concentrations and additional suspended particles in water such as oil droplets. This assists in developing corrective measures for degrading these oil droplets in the sea.

The use of SeaWiFS is also considered an advanced sensor that can be used for monitoring the sea. This is based mainly on its capability to monitor various ocean phenomena, such as ocean primary production as well as phytoplanktonic activities, and influence of ocean on the climatic conditions. The main limitation of this sensor is that it is operated on the commercial venture with research and can be obtained only from the NASA. However, the use of these satellites is significant in measuring ocean characteristics, such as ocean color, atmospheric land applications and measuring of ocean salinity. This data is useful in development of the right kinds of microbes that can be planted into the seas to control oil spills.

These sensors used for observing ocean systems are significant in regional-scale monitoring of pollution in the ocean and assist the scientists in coming up with understanding the impacts of oceans on global climate or factors that cause pollution in oceans.

  1. Conclusion

The need to control oil spill is a concern for management of sea water in various areas in the world and it has been necessary to come up with better approaches that can be used to control the conditions. The use of mechanical methods has been successful in controlling oil spills but it has not been possible to control oil under the sea. Consequently, the use of biological methods is considered an approach that will assist in degradation of oils that have seeped into the bottom of the sea. This will ensure that living organisms in the sea are not contaminated with oil thus marinating aquatic food chain. Furthermore, there are meteorological sensing devices that can assist in location the positions where oil spills have occurred. They are also important in detecting any leakages that have taken place (US Geological Survey, 2012). This results into development of strategies that can be used to curb any oil spills as well as planting of microorganisms into those places to assist in controlling the spills.

Feb 9, 2018 in Review Category