A recently-released report shows that oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Video and slides produced by a top scientist from the University of Georgia demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor. The report is at odds with the recent report by Feinberg, explained above, that said all will be good by 2012.
Marine scientist Dr. Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia produced some early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site at a science conference last month in Washington. Dr. Joye went to places she had previously visited in the summer expecting the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes to be gone by then. She found that 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,” Dr. Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference.
In five different expeditions, the last one in December, Dr. Joye and her colleagues took 250 cores of the sea floor and travelled across 2,600 square miles. Some were locations she had been studying before the oil spill on April 20th. She found there to be 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. Pictures of oil-choked bottom-dwelling creatures were shown by Dr. Joye. 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.
Dr. Joye said her research shows that the burning of oil left soot on the sea floor, which still had petroleum products. 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. Dr. Joye and three colleagues have 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,” according to Dr. Ian MacDonald of Florida State University. It will be interesting to see how BP and Feinberg attack this study.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.