oil spill

February 10, 2011

Call to refocus research after Gulf oil spill

Selina Heppell

photo: NASA

Scientists can't measure recovery from last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico because they lack baseline data on marine life there. That's why Selina Heppell (2006) and others argue that research needs to prioritize finding such baseline data on protected species so scientists can track individual populations.


August 30, 2010

Time needed to understand extent of Gulf spill

Christopher Reddy

photo: SkyTruth

Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found a 21-mile-long oil plume in June from the Gulf oil spill and described it in a study co-authored by Chris Reddy (2006). Reddy recently criticized some journalists who, in looking for definitive answers, misrepresented the study as deciding between "competing" estimates on the oil remaining. "Science does not work that way," Reddy wrote in an op-ed for CNN.com, noting "Rather, science is more like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is added. Occasionally a wrong piece may be placed, but eventually science will correct it."

July 30, 2010

Scientists call for pause on building Gulf berms

Denise Reed

photo: BP America

Scientists are questioning a plan to build berms of sand along the Louisiana coast to shield it from the Gulf oil slick. They worry the berms could disrupt the movement of sediment sustaining barrier islands and that storms will quickly erode the berms away. Denise Reed (2006) suggests that the plan's commander pause to review existing science and assess potential effects so he "can make these decisions with eyes wide open."