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The environmental consequences of the Gulf War


Environment Washington 33(5): 7-9, 25-26
The environmental consequences of the Gulf War
The oil that was spilled and set afire during the Persian Gulf War has created severe local pollution and may affect the world climate. The oil slick in the Gulf has polluted about 180 km of the Saudi Arabian coastline, causing significant harm to wading birds and the shrimp industry. In Kuwait, where Iraqi forces set fire to oil wells as they retreated, smoke has blocked sunlight and kept daytime temperatures below normal. Soot-laden rain has been falling in the region, and a choking fog has been reported at ground level in some areas. In countries downwind from Kuwait, soot deposits and acid rain are expected to harm crops, animals, and water reservoirs. Ozone and nitrogen oxides will probably enter the stratosphere, adding to photochemical smog at ground level. Carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions from the fires may be enough to nullify current efforts to reduce the levels of these greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere.


Accession: 002249911

DOI: 10.1080/00139157.1991.9931392



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