My Google Page Rank

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

PDFPrintE-mail

Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.

At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn't.

"There's some sort of a bottleneck we have yet to identify for why this stuff doesn't seem to be degrading," Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington. Her research and those of her colleagues contrasts with other studies that show a more optimistic outlook about the health of the gulf, saying microbes did great work munching the oil.

"Magic microbes consumed maybe 10 percent of the total discharge, the rest of it we don't know," Joye said, later adding: "there's a lot of it out there."
The head of the agency in charge of the health of the Gulf said Saturday that she thought that "most of the oil is gone." And a Department of Energy scientist, doing research with a grant from BP from before the spill, said his examination of oil plumes in the water column show that microbes have done a "fairly fast" job of eating the oil. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab scientist Terry Hazen said his research differs from Joye's because they looked at different places at different times.

Joye's research was more widespread, but has been slower in being published in scientific literature.

In five different expeditions, the last one in December, Joye and colleagues took 250 cores of the sea floor and travelled across 2,600 square miles. Some of the locations she had been studying before the oil spill on April 20 and said there was a noticeable change. Much of the oil she found on the sea floor — and in the water column — was chemically fingerprinted, proving it comes from the BP spill. Joye is still waiting for results to show other oil samples she tested are from BP's Macondo well.

She also showed pictures of oil-choked bottom-dwelling creatures. They included dead crabs and brittle stars — starfish like critters that are normally bright orange and tightly wrapped around coral. These brittle stars were pale, loose and dead. She also saw tube worms so full of oil they suffocated.

"This is Macondo oil on the bottom," Joye said as she showed slides. "This is dead organisms because of oil being deposited on their heads."

Joye said her research shows that the burning of oil left soot on the sea floor, which still had petroleum products. And even more troublesome was the tremendous amount of methane from the BP well that mixed into the Gulf and was mostly ignored by other researchers.

Joye and three colleagues last week published a study in Nature Geoscience that said the amount of gas injected into the Gulf was the equivalent of between 1.5 and 3 million barrels of oil.

"The gas is an important part of understanding what happened," said Ian MacDonald of Florida State University.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told reporters Saturday that "it's not a contradiction to say that although most of the oil is gone, there still remains oil out there."

Earlier this month, Kenneth Feinberg, the government's oil compensation fund czar, said based on research he commissioned he figured the Gulf of Mexico would almost fully recover by 2012 — something Joye and Lubchenco said isn't right.

"I've been to the bottom. I've seen what it looks like with my own eyes. It's not going to be fine by 2012," Joye told The Associated Press. "You see what the bottom looks like, you have a different opinion."

NOAA chief Lubchenco said "even though the oil degraded relatively rapidly and is now mostly but not all gone, damage done to a variety of species may not become obvious for years to come."

Lubchenco Saturday also announced the start of a Gulf restoration planning process to get the Gulf back to the condition it was on Apr. 19, the day before the spill. That program would eventually be paid for BP and other parties deemed responsible for the spill. This would be separate from an already begun restoration program that would improve all aspects of the Gulf, not just the oil spill, but has not been funded by the government yet, she said.

The new program, which is part of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment program, is part of the oil spill litigation — or out-of-court settlement — in which the polluters pay for overall damage to the ecosystem and efforts to return it to normal. This is different than paying compensation to people and businesses directly damaged by the spill.

The process will begin with public meetings all over the region. AP

By Seth Borenstein




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

THANK GOD! It’s FRIDAY!

16 Nov 2018 Hits:51 Be the first to comment!

For the Tetuan Parish, that very common expression means literally just that, for on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 7 in the evening at the Centro Pastoral, the concert UN NOCHE DE OFRECIMIENTO, will wow its audience. The four-part concert aims to raise the roof with the rarely seen Broadway caliber talents of our singing and dancing priests. The first segment is the Filipiniana where the musical score is proudly Original Filipino Music of Ryan Cayabyab and regional favorites in Chavacano, Visayan and Tagalog. It is followed by religious renditions in part two like: Lay Up Your Treasures in Heaven, What A Friend and Amazing Grace. The 3rd part is, of course, Broadway with mega hits like Tonight from the West Side Story, Bridge [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Man stabbed in Rio Hondo

16 Nov 2018 Hits:71 Be the first to comment!

A bakery worker was stabbed and wounded by his co-worker in Sitio Hongkong, Barangay Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City on Wednesday night. Police Officer 3 Had-Anuar Edding, investigator-on-case, of Police Station 11 [...] Read more


Three nabbed for illegal drugs

16 Nov 2018 Hits:89 Be the first to comment!

Three persons were arrested when operatives of Police Station 9 seized from them 13 sachets of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation at Barangay Recodo, Zamboanga City on Thursday dawn. Arrested [...] Read more


DOH 9 conducts training on GI, community-based treatment for PWUDs

15 Nov 2018 Hits:113 Be the first to comment!

The Department of Health Region IX (DOH 9) conducted the Training on General Intervention (GI) and Community-based Treatment Care Services for Person Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) from November 13-15, 2018. With [...] Read more


DENR-EMB 9 conducts SWM plan finalization of ZamPen LGUs

14 Nov 2018 Hits:135 Be the first to comment!

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Region IX is conducting a 10-year Solid Waste Management (SWM) plan update and finalization of 33 local government units (LGUs) [...] Read more


Man accused of child abuse, arrested

13 Nov 2018 Hits:176 Be the first to comment!

Two teenagers filed a complaint for child abuse against a 55-year-old man at Police Station 7 last Sunday. Ellyn, married, a resident of Barangay Pasonanca, Zamboanga City, averred to the police [...] Read more


Brgy Chair nabs pedicab driver carrying shabu

13 Nov 2018 Hits:122 Be the first to comment!

A delivery boy was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by elements of Police Station 4 led by Chief Insp. Hazel Fernandez at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City  on Sunday. Police identified [...] Read more


Navforwem honors fleet-marine troops for rescue of KV Duterte

13 Nov 2018 Hits:194 Be the first to comment!

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) has honored sailors, marines, Fleet-Marine personnel and navies for the successful rescue of kidnapped victim (KV) Jose Duterte and exceptional feats in the accomplishment [...] Read more


Police searching for armed man for mauling

12 Nov 2018 Hits:133 Be the first to comment!

A resident of Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City, is now being hunted by personnel of Police Station 6 for mauling and totting his gun at another person on Sunday. Police report shows [...] Read more


Team Climaco condemns misinformation, fake news

09 Nov 2018 Hits:343 Be the first to comment!

Members of the Team Climaco have strongly criticized and condemned misinformation drive allegedly hatched by their political foes and propagandists, who are desperate to destroy the many and outstanding accomplishments [...] Read more


Man hacked by father-in-law

09 Nov 2018 Hits:147 Be the first to comment!

A man was hacked and wounded by his father-in-law at Sibiktol Drive, Barangay Arena Blanco, Zamboanga City, on Wednesday. The victim was identified as Jarrin Jalmaani y Gadong, married and a [...] Read more


More Filipinos to be engaged in HIV-AIDS awareness drive

08 Nov 2018 Hits:191 Be the first to comment!

The right information on HIV-AIDS will curb the spread of this disease. But putting information out there isn’t enough, a senior government official believes. There has to be constant engagement [...] Read more


CHO: Fear of Dengvaxia prevents children from getting vaccines

07 Nov 2018 Hits:257 Be the first to comment!

Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Kibtiya Uddin reported that the fear of Dengvaxia vaccine has prevented children from getting other types of vaccines during City Hall's weekly press conference on [...] Read more


Army officer, 3 soldiers injured in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

07 Nov 2018 Hits:302 Be the first to comment!

An Army officer and three more soldiers were wounded in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu province on Monday afternoon. Lt. Col. Gerry Besana,  spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command [...] Read more


Beng distributes relief goods to Triplet fire victims

18 Oct 2018 Hits:254 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco on Wednesday afternoon spearheaded the distribution of relief goods to families displaced by the early dawn fire in Lemon Drive, Triplet, Barangay Canelar. Mayor Climaco, assisted by personnel [...] Read more


DTI reports slight hike in prices of basic goods

18 Oct 2018 Hits:232 Be the first to comment!

Following its continuing monitoring of prices of all consumable goods in the local markets, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reported a slight increase in the prices of [...] Read more


OCENR preps SWM in barangays, basura run

18 Oct 2018 Hits:211 Be the first to comment!

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) is working to strengthen the capacities of local barangays in line with sanitation, particularly solid waste management. Public Services Officer IV [...] Read more


Mayor Beng files candidacy, vows to continue pro-poor programs

17 Oct 2018 Hits:272 Be the first to comment!

In an expected sea of supporters to join her today, popular Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco is scheduled to file her certificate of candidacy for re-election this morning at the [...] Read more


Team Colorao to file COC today

17 Oct 2018 Hits:204 Be the first to comment!

The “Team Colorao” alliance will be filing their official Certificates of Candidacy (COC) early morning today, October 17, 2018. The powerhouse four party alliance will be led by party standard bearer, [...] Read more