Ecological, economic and social costs of marine/coastal spills of fuel oils (refinery residuals)

A report by Tim Deere-Jones

The growing demands for shorter, quicker and less expensive sea routes around the northern hemisphere coupled with Arctic warming is generating a significant increase in vessel traffic through Arctic waters. This report offers a brief review of the behaviour and fate of both heavy fuel oil (HFO) and medium fuel oil (MFO) spills in polar, sub-polar and similar cold water marine environments. It also offers a brief review of the impacts of such spills and the relative “costing” of some of the impact parameters of such spills.

Risks & challenges of Heavy Fuel Oil use in the Arctic

An infographic by the European Climate Foundation

Increased shipping activities and changeable shipping conditions provide the backdrop of this comprehensive and visual representation of the many threats facing the Arctic environment, from heavy fuel oil spill, with catastrophic long-lasting consequences on this remote and vulnerable ecosystem, local indigenous populations’ health and food security to illegal waste sludge dumping. Increased Black Carbon and other air pollutants emissions only accelerate climate change and add to the problem of ice melt.