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 New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>