JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The Sun's impact on weathering oil is much greater than expected which has implications on how oil spills should be cleaned up.
Eight years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, scientists say the dispersants used to break up surface oil slicks are less effective in bright sunlight.
The results of a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study may substantially change how people approach cleanups.
The new findings show that although oil remains on the surface, sunlight changed more than half of the floating oils chemical makeup within hours to days. This shrinks the cleaning window of opportunity for chemical dispersants to a point below the minimum effectiveness levels designated by the EPA.