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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


July-August 2014

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Oil Pollution in the Marine Environment II: Fates and Effects of Oil Spills

Part I of this three-part set of articles focused on the various types and amounts of oil inputs to the marine environment. The complexity of the mixture of chemicals making up crude oils, fuel oils, and lubricating oils, mainly hundreds to thousands of hydrocarbons, needs reemphasis as we consider fates and effects of oil inputs to the marine environment. This complex mixture of chemicals in oils is being added to the equally complex chowder consisting of the natural chemicals of seawater, marine organisms (microscopic size to the size of marine mammals), particulate matter, and sediment materials.

John W. Farrington is Dean emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's School of Marine Science and Technology. He has conducted research focused on organic chemicals in the marine environment and has been involved in graduate education with the MIT/WHOI Joint Program for the majority of his 42 years in ocean sciences. He has been active at the science-policy interface in the local, national and international arenas and in “K-gray” education.

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