Oil sands and the marine environment: current knowledge and future challenges

Stephanie J. Green, Kyle Demes, Michael Arbeider, Wendy J. Palen, Anne K. Salomon, Thomas D. Sisk, Margot Webster, Maureen E. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Abstract

The environmental consequences of bitumen extraction from oil sands deposits are at the center of North American natural resource and energy policy debate, yet impacts on ocean environments have received little attention. Using a quantitative framework, we identify knowledge gaps and research needs related to the effects of oil sands development on marine biota. Fifteen sources of stress and disturbance – varying greatly in spatial and temporal scale – are generated via two pathways: (1) the coastal storage and oceanic transport of bitumen products, and (2) the contribution of industry-derived greenhouse gases to climate change in the ocean. Of highest research priority are the fate, behavior, and biological effects of bitumen in the ocean. By contrast, climate-change impacts are scientifically well established but not considered in key regulatory processes. Most stressors co-occur and are generated by other industries, yet cumulative effects are so far unaccounted for in decision making associated with new projects. Our synthesis highlights priority research needed to inform future energy development decisions, and opportunities for policy processes to acknowledge the full scope of potential and realized environmental consequences.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages74-83
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

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bitumen
oil sands
oil sand
marine environment
oceans
ocean
natural resource policy
climate change
energy policy
industry
greenhouse gases
biota
decision making
greenhouse gas
natural resource
disturbance
synthesis
organisms
energy
environmental consequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Green, S. J., Demes, K., Arbeider, M., Palen, W. J., Salomon, A. K., Sisk, T. D., ... Ryan, M. E. (2017). Oil sands and the marine environment: current knowledge and future challenges. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(2), 74-83. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1446

Oil sands and the marine environment : current knowledge and future challenges. / Green, Stephanie J.; Demes, Kyle; Arbeider, Michael; Palen, Wendy J.; Salomon, Anne K.; Sisk, Thomas D.; Webster, Margot; Ryan, Maureen E.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 15, No. 2, 01.03.2017, p. 74-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Green, SJ, Demes, K, Arbeider, M, Palen, WJ, Salomon, AK, Sisk, TD, Webster, M & Ryan, ME 2017, 'Oil sands and the marine environment: current knowledge and future challenges' Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 74-83. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1446
Green SJ, Demes K, Arbeider M, Palen WJ, Salomon AK, Sisk TD et al. Oil sands and the marine environment: current knowledge and future challenges. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2017 Mar 1;15(2):74-83. Available from, DOI: 10.1002/fee.1446
Green, Stephanie J. ; Demes, Kyle ; Arbeider, Michael ; Palen, Wendy J. ; Salomon, Anne K. ; Sisk, Thomas D. ; Webster, Margot ; Ryan, Maureen E./ Oil sands and the marine environment : current knowledge and future challenges. In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2017 ; Vol. 15, No. 2. pp. 74-83
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