Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers call for a new direction in oil spill research

12.04.2012
Understanding oil movement at depth, microbial action, and deep sea ecology will be essential for responding to future spills

Inadequate knowledge about the effects of deepwater oil well blowouts such as the Deepwater Horizon event of 2010 threatens scientists' ability to help manage and assess comparable events in future, according to an article that a multi-author group of specialists will publish in the May issue of BioScience.

Even federal "rapid response" grants awarded to study the Deepwater Horizon event were far more focused on near-surface effects than on the deepwater processes that the BioScience authors judge to be most in need of more research.

The article, by a team led by Charles H. Peterson of the University of North Carolina, argues that a fundamentally new approach to the study of deepwater oil spills is needed. Previous research has focused mainly on effects on organisms found near the sea surface and on coasts. The new approach would also stress how oil and associated gas released at depth move through the sea and affect subsurface and bottom-dwelling organisms. The new approach is all the more important because the oil industry is now putting most of its exploration efforts into deep water.

Peterson and his colleagues point out that existing policies and legislation have notably failed to provide for research initiated promptly after a spill has been detected. This has prevented studies that might have guided emergency response procedures two years ago, in particular studies of the effects of chemical dispersants. These were used extensively while the Deepwater Horizon spill was in progress, although there is little consensus on their effectiveness.

There remain "serious gaps" in background information needed for longer-term assessments of comparable spills, according to Peterson and his coauthors. Much more information is needed about deep-sea ecology and the processes by which oil released at depth is degraded by microbes, for example. The gaps impede not only litigation and improvement of government policy, but also attempts to restore damaged ecosystems

BioScience, published monthly, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS; www.aibs.org). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is a meta-level organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents nearly 160 member societies and organizations. The article by Peterson and colleagues is available for the remainder of April online ahead of print at www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/

The complete list of peer-reviewed articles in the May 2012 issue of BioScience is as follows.

A Tale of Two Spills: Novel Science and Policy Implications of an Emerging New Oil Spill Model.

Charles H. Peterson, Sean S. Anderson, Gary N. Cherr, Richard F. Ambrose, Shelly Anghera, Steven Bay, Michael Blum, Robert Condon, Thomas A. Dean, Monty Graham, Michael Guzy, Stephanie Hampton, Samantha Joye, John Lambrinos, Bruce Mate, Douglas Meffert, Sean P. Powers, Ponisseril Somasundaran, Robert B. Spies, Caz M. Taylor, Ronald Tjeerdema, and E. Eric Adams

Rethinking the Origin of Chronic Diseases.
Mohammadali M. Shoja, R. Shane Tubbs, Alireza Ghaffari, Marios Loukas, and Paul S. Agutter
Prospects for Sustainable Logging in Tropical Forest.
Barbara L. Zimmerman and Cyril F. Kormos
Energy and Matter: Differences in Discourse in Physical and Biological Sciences Can Be Confusing for Introductory Biology Students.

Laurel M. Hartley, Jennifer Momsen, April Maskiewicz, and Charlene D'Avanzo

Studying Biodiversity: Is a New Paradigm Really Needed?
James D. Nichols, Evan Cooch, Jonathan M. Nichols, and John R. Sauer
Finding Common Ground for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
Belinda Reyers, Stephen Polasky, Heather Tallis, Harold A. Mooney, and Anne Larigauderie
Why Ecosystem-Based Management May Fail without Changes to Tool Development and Financing.

Corrie Curtice, Daniel C. Dunn, Jason J. Roberts, Sarah D. Carr, and Patrick N. Halpin

Jennifer Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aibs.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lipid nanodiscs stabilize misfolding protein intermediates red-handed
18.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single-photon detector can count to 4

18.12.2017 | Information Technology

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>