Having a look at what would happen if an oil spill hurricane would come into the gulf of Mexico this late in the season, and what effects it would have on the coastal areas and wetlands.
An oil spill is the release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon in the environment due to some human activity. It is believed that if a hurricane comes across an oil slick it would increase the damage caused by the oil spills and would lead to a more powerful hurricane.
Oil Spill Hurricane Threat
A hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel at Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that since the explosion of oil in the April 2010 on the coastline of Gulf of Mexico the oil has been accumulated at the surface which could be raising the temperature of the surrounding water. The black surface has two impacts firstly it absorbs the sunlight and secondly it restrains evaporation from the Gulf. Usually evaporation cools the Gulf waters as it is curtailed it will make the water hotter than the normal which leads to more powerful hurricanes. Thus oil spill leads to hurricanes. This might also extend the hurricane season as the water keeps warmer longer because of the oil slick on the gulf surface. The chances at this time of an oil spill hurricane this late in the year must be minimal.
The effect of an oil spill hurricane on the enviroment
Environmental Scientists predicts that there will be more devastating effect of oil spill on the environment if a hurricane encounters. Vegetation in coastal marshland gets spoiled due to oil spill and it would be worse if a hurricane pushes the oil deeper into the coastline and wetlands and it would lead to the erosion of the wetland.
Irving Mendelssohn, who studies coastal plant ecology at Louisiana State University, believes that an oil spill hurricane may be advantageous if it comes before the oil spill has a chance of causing any damage to the coastal marshes and it would cause more damage if it arrives after oil has hit the coast. According to him the damage cause depends upon the timing of the hurricane.
An oil spill hurricane can be beneficial also as it can dissolve and at the same time can break up the oil faster which will result to minimal damage to plants.
Therefore it can be concluded that hurricane can both increase and decrease the damage effect caused by oil spill. But for an oil spill hurricane to ruin the gulf coast towns after the devastation the oil spill has caused it would be a terrible disaster.