Have you ever wondered where the world’s oil comes from — and where it ends up? The list of the world’s top five producing and top five consuming countries may look similar, but compare the rates of production and consumption, and you will see they are hardly proportionate. The United States produces 8.5 million barrels of oil each day and is the world’s third largest oil producer, but we consume more than twice as many — and are the world’s top consuming country.
Pollution of the open seas by human activities has become a serious problem. Ocean dumping is the dumping or placing of materials in designated places in the ocean, often on the continental shelf. A wide range of materials is involved, including garbage, construction and demolition debris, sewage sludge, dredge material, and waste chemicals. In some cases, ocean dumping is regulated and controlled, while some dumping occurs haphazardly by ships and tankers at sea, or illegally within coastal waters. Incineration at sea of organic wastes, with subsequent dumping, has been allowed as a viable disposal process, both in the United States and in Europe.