ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2011) — Tips to reduce your carbon footprint frequently include buying compact florescent light bulbs, taking your own bag to the grocery store or buying local produce. But how much difference do these actions make?
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that who you are and where you live make a big difference in which activities have the largest impact. Full story
online “carbon calculator” http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists
BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year. Read the full article
13 April 2011 | Nature 472, 152-154 (2011) |by, Mark Schrope
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill set records for its size and depth. A year on, the biggest impacts seem to be where they are hardest to spot.
Late last year, oceanographers prowling the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico came upon what looked like a crime scene. Cameras on a remotely operated vehicle revealed corpses of deepwater coral covered in brown goo. As the researchers watching from above saw one grim scene after another, “the whole place got silent, everything totally stopped”, says Tim Shank an oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, and a member of the survey team.
The field of coral was just 11 kilometres from the Deepwater Horizon well head, which earlier in the year had spewed out more than 4 million barrels of oil and a similar amount of methane — the largest ever accidental release in the ocean. The spill was unique in other ways, too. Located beyond the continental shelf and some 1,400 metres below the surface, it happened in deeper water than any other major spill in history. Read the full article
Coral Reef Fact:
Sea turtles are resilient to physical attacks such as shark bites. However, they are very susceptible to the effects of chemicals such as oil at all stages of life. Oil impacts sea turtle egg development, skin, blood, and the digestive and immune systems. It can, also, cause the mortality of hatchlings.
Donate to Reef Relief today & help protect our marine environment, go to reefrelief.org/act/donate
HAVANA — Cuba says it will begin drilling five oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico this summer in hopes of locating enough crude to justify the costly exploration.
Manuel Marrero is an official with the Ministry of Basic Industry. He says the prospects of finding valuable reserves are “promising.”
Cuba’s domestic production is exclusively heavy oil with a high sulfur content. Its offshore Gulf waters could contain large quantities of lighter, sweet crude, although a test well in 2004 turned up modest discoveries. Read the full article
The Associated Press
The carbon dioxide we pump into the air is seeping into the oceans and slowly acidifying them. One hundred years from now, will oysters, mussels, and coral reefs survive?
National Geographic Magazine April 2011 By Elizabeth Kolbert
Castello Aragonese is a tiny island that rises straight out of the Tyrrhenian Sea like a tower. Seventeen miles west of Naples, it can be reached from the somewhat larger island of Ischia via a long, narrow stone bridge. The tourists who visit Castello Aragonese come to see what life was like in the past. They climb—or better yet, take the elevator—up to a massive castle, which houses a display of medieval torture instruments. The scientists who visit the island, by contrast, come to see what life will be like in the future. Read the full article
By Marilyn Heiman, Special to CNN
(CNN) — The Exxon Valdez catastrophe on March 24, 1989, no longer holds the distinction of being the largest oil spill ever in U.S. waters. In sheer size, it was eclipsed last April by the disastrous well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. But as the Pew Environment Group’s video, “Lingering Oil,” shows, the lessons of the Exxon Valdez spill are more vital than ever as we approach the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and contemplate drilling in the even more challenging Arctic Ocean. Read the full article