photo: James Davidson
Scientists have quickly criticized a federal report that claims to account for all but 26% of the oil spilled in the Gulf. The report discounts the 16% of the oil that dispersed into droplets since its "readily available for biodegradation," but Chris Reddy (2006) contended that microbes biodegrade only parts of the oil and only at their own pace. Pedro Alvarez (2008) questioned the precision of the figures, noting, "We don't know exactly how much was released. It's not like when you have a tank with a known inventory."