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.
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 AdamsRethinking the Origin of Chronic Diseases.
Laurel M. Hartley, Jennifer Momsen, April Maskiewicz, and Charlene D'AvanzoStudying Biodiversity: Is a New Paradigm Really Needed?
Corrie Curtice, Daniel C. Dunn, Jason J. Roberts, Sarah D. Carr, and Patrick N. Halpin
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