Al Jazeera just published a thoroughly disturbing report on the deformed fish and shellfish that are being pulled from the Gulf in the wake of the BP oil spill. Shrimp without eyes or even eye sockets, snapper with large pink growths, undersized and misshapen crabs--the fishermen in the Gulf that Al Jazeera talked to have never seen anything like it.
Along with the death of scores of marine animals and seabirds, one of the main concerns during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the impact on the food chain. A new study clarifies that impact: Hydrocarbons from the Macondo well trickled into the ocean food chain via its tiniest members, zooplankton.
A newly designed metallic soap reacts to a magnetic field, a first in soap research that could lead to better control of cleanup chemicals in situations like aquatic oil spills. A magnet can overcome both gravity and the surface tension between water and oil to draw the soap away, ensuring it can be recovered after it’s used.
The second-place finalist did a little more than half that well
By Rebecca Boyle and Clay DillowPosted 10.11.2011 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments
Last summer, as sweet crude oil gushed unabated into the Gulf of Mexico, the overriding emotion was one of frustration. It wasn't just directed at the well owner, BP, or at rig-builders Transocean and Halliburton, or even the government and its difficult-to-understand oil flow estimates. The inability to shut off the well was one thing — but why, in an era of nanotubes and autonomous robots and invisibility cloaks, couldn't we just clean it up?
Rainbow-tinted slicks and globules of oil have been cropping up in the Gulf of Mexico during the past 10 days or so, and it’s not clear where it is all coming from. BP, whose Macondo well spewed 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf last summer after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, has denied that the oil is coming from that well. But some scientists say it’s certainly possible.
Towering flames illuminated the pre-dawn darkness, casting shadows on the ship Ocean Intervention III as it floated over the sunken remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The resonant hum of helicopters fused with the roar of fires on either side of the ship, and Chris Reddy could feel the heat on his face.
The night of June 21, 2010, Reddy and colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were whisked off their research vessel Endeavor to collect samples directly from the blown Macondo well, which had been spewing oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico for two months. They had 12 hours to do something that had never been done before: Use a robot arm to stick a special bottle directly into the hot hydrocarbons. Now, a year later, their analysis explains just what came out of the well, and sheds more light on what happened to it.
Following the greatest environmental catastrophe in recent history, the lowest life forms among us have been the biggest heroes. Once again, scientists have found that bacteria ate up the remnants of the the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Within four months of the oil spill, bacterial blooms had removed more than 200,000 metric tons of dissolved methane, returning concentrations to normal background levels.
As if it further needed to drive home its eco-friendly, anti-oil message, the Chevy Volt will soon boast a body made partially of recycled equipment originally used in the Gulf oil leak cleanup efforts. Specifically, GM will use recycled plastic from oil booms, which are sort of floating containment walls meant to keep oil in one place.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar have officially declared that the cement cap permanently plugging BP's Macondo well is successfully in place, ending a five-month effort that nonetheless saw nearly 4.9 million barrels of oil escape into the Gulf of Mexico. "With the successful first intercept by the relief well and our confirmation through pressure tests that the cement plugs are secure, we can now declare BP's Macondo well effectively dead," the secretaries said in a joint statement. Finally.