Top Story: April 20, 2011

Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary


A year ago today, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil continued to spill into the Gulf over the course of the next three months, changing the area and attitudes about deepwater drilling forever. Science in Action will have a story soon about three local scientists and their work around the area; meanwhile, here’s what other science news outlets are reporting today, on the one year anniversary of the worst oil spill in US history.

Science, the New York Times and Nature News have special round-ups of oil spill-related stories from the past several months. A January story from Nature discusses the stall scientists faced in getting samples of the oil spill for their research. The Academy’s Peter Roopnarine, interviewed for Science in Action last month, expressed frustration over this same stall still, as he studies the effect of the oil on animals like oysters and clams.

Nature also has a great story on the state of the Gulf one year later. It’s thorough and forward-thinking—covering the clean-up, environment, causes and future drilling. From the article:

"The clean-up won't be complete and we won't know the full environmental consequences for at least 40 years," says Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Not surprisingly, National Geographic has a small picture gallery of the spill and aftermath. Surprisingly, NPR’s is larger and better.

Scientific American describes the many victims of the spill—from fishermen to wildlife.

National Geographic covers some fairly good news out of the spill about migrating birds and the permanently sealed well.

Finally, local ABC7 has a story from UC Berkeley scientists about preventing future spills.


  • spill containment

    It's definitely not something to celebrate, but it would do good to remember the oil spill. It is from that tragedy that future engineers will be able to come up with measures to prevent it repeating.

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