Decreased oil use influences climate change in two ways

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Keskiviikko 8.6.2022 klo 20:22 - Mikko Nikinmaa


Oil spills are among the biggest toxicological problems in marine environments. Although the news pictures invariably show oil-covered birds, which die of heat loss in water, oil components are also very toxic to all aquatic organisms. The decrease in the use of fossil fuels will decrease the tanker transport of oil, oil leaks in the harbours of oil refineries, and accidental or intentional oil spills from ships. The net result is that oil pollution will diminish. Although only the importance of oil burning is usually considered as being important in combatting climate change, the decrease in oil pollution must also be considered. The fact is that marine algae carry out about half of the carbon dioxide removal and oxygen production by photosynthesis. Algal photosynthesis has decreased by 10-20 % because of marine pollution. This decrease is so far greater than what has been caused by deforestation of rainforests. The main pollutant causing algal deaths is oil and its components. Thus, decreasing the oil use will combat climate change not only directly but also as decreased oil pollution enables algal photosynthesis to recover. As a consequence, oil ban will have greater positive effect on climate than expected from decreased carbon dioxide production because of oil burning.

Avainsanat: aquatic toxicology, oil pollution, algal photosynthesis


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