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Posts Tagged "oil"

Expeditions

Counting Fish: Wrap Up and Conclusion

Since July 2012, I’ve been posting about a study of artificial reefs along the Texas coast. Scientists at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi conducted the research, funded by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, to determine whether these structures increase fish populations, and whether their location, type and [...]

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Expeditions

Deepwater spill survey: Smoke on the water, burnt oil in the sky

Texas A&M,Deepwater,BP

Editor’s Note: A team of researchers led by John Kessler, Texas A&M College of Geosciences chief scientist and assistant oceanography professor, traveled to the Deepwater Horizon disaster area to study the methane leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (along with tens thousands of barrels of crude oil) daily at the site of the damaged Macondo [...]

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Expeditions

Deepwater spill survey: Still waters run deep

Deepwater, Texas A&M, oil

Editor’s Note: A team of researchers led by John Kessler, Texas A&M College of Geosciences chief scientist and assistant oceanography professor, has traveled to the Deepwater Horizon disaster area to study the methane leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (along with tens thousands of barrels of crude oil) daily at the site of the damaged [...]

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Expeditions

Deepwater spill survey: Sampling water columns under a night sky lit up by a large jet of burning methane

Texas A&M, Deepwater, BP,Valentine

Editor’s Note: A team of researchers led by John Kessler, Texas A&M College of Geosciences chief scientist and assistant oceanography professor, has traveled to the Deepwater Horizon disaster area to study the methane leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (along with tens thousands of barrels of crude oil) daily at the site of the damaged [...]

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Expeditions

Deepwater spill survey: Contaminated Gulf kills thousands of sea cucumbers

Texas A&M, sea cucumber, Deepwater

Editor’s Note: A team of researchers led by John Kessler, Texas A&M College of Geosciences chief scientist and assistant oceanography professor, has traveled to the Deepwater Horizon disaster site to study the methane leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (along with tens thousands of barrels of crude oil) daily at the site of the damaged [...]

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Expeditions

Deepwater spill survey: Scientists embark on methane-examining mission

Texas A&M, Deepwater, oil, environment

Editor’s Note: A team of researchers led by John Kessler, Texas A&M College of Geosciences chief scientist and assistant oceanography professor, has traveled to the Deepwater Horizon disaster site to study the methane leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (along with tens thousands of barrels of crude oil) daily at the site of the damaged [...]

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Extinction Countdown

25 Years after Exxon Valdez Spill, Sea Otters Recovered in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

sea otter

It took a quarter century, but the northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) living in Alaska’s Prince William Sound have finally recovered from the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The spill itself killed an estimated 40 percent of the 6,500 sea [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deepwater doom: Extinction threat for world’s smallest sea horse

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill this year and subsequent cleanup efforts could drive the world’s smallest sea horse into extinction, warns the Zoological Society of London and its marine conservation organization Project Seahorse.  The tiny dwarf sea horse (Hippocampus zosterae), which grows to a maximum length of 2.5 centimeters, can be found only in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Found Today, Gone Tomorrow?: Gulf oil spill could wipe out a newly discovered species

Louisiana pancake batfish

A newfound subspecies that hasn’t even been properly named yet could be wiped out by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, its discoverer has now warned. The Louisiana pancake batfish, a previously unknown subspecies of pancake batfish (Halieutichthys aculeatus), was discovered six months ago by Prosanta Chakrabarty, assistant professor and curator of ichthyology at the Louisiana [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Delisted and in danger: Gulf oil spill threatens brown pelicans months after they are dropped from endangered species list

treated brown pelican released back into the wild

Images of oil-caked brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) have hit the front pages of countless U.S. newspapers and other media in the past week, driving home the still-growing impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. So far, dozens of pelicans have been transported to rescue centers for treatment. The number is only expected to rise [...]

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Guest Blog

Costs and values: The legacy of the Exxon Valdez disaster

Nature,Wohlforth,oil,Exxon

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from The Fate of Nature by Charles Wohlforth, published on June 8 by St. Martins Press. The Fate of Nature considers the burgeoning science of human nature and behavior, using Alaska as a starting point to explore our capacity to save the planet from environmental decline. As we [...]

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Observations

Fracking Woes Stem from Oil Addiction, Not Hydraulic Fracturing

fracking-in-pennsylvania

Flaming tap water comes from bad wells, and not the drinking-water kind. Folks who live closest to natural gas wells in Pennsylvania suffer ill health. And the uptick in earthquakes in parts of Colorado and New Mexico is entirely human-induced. All of these problems are associated with fracking, yet none of them have anything to [...]

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Observations

12 Graphics That Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

earth-energy-heat-budget

Climate change is real, it’s here and it will be affecting the planet for a long, long time. That’s the lesson of the latest iteration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s state of climate science report, released in its entirety on January 30. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have now touched 400 [...]

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Observations

Can Microbes Clean Up Our Oily Mess? [Video]

oil_microbes

With an estimated 70 oil spills every day in the U.S. and tons of plastic garbage littering our oceans, humans could really use some help cleaning up. In our latest Instant Egghead video, Scientific American associate editor David Biello explains how bacteria and other microbes lend a hand. More to explore: How Going with the Flow [...]

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Observations

40 Years after OPEC Oil Embargo, U.S. May Finally Get Off Imported Crude

oil-drums graph

So you think President Barack Obama’s calls for energy independence have seemed a bit starry-eyed? Well, every U.S. president since Richard Nixon has publicly called for the country to become self-sufficient. Why? Because of oil. Specifically, oil imported from Middle Eastern nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The ongoing chorus stems [...]

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Observations

40 Years Later: Electric Cars and the OPEC Oil Embargo

Oregon’s odd-even plan reduced the lines at gas stations during the fuel crisis in the fall and winter of 1973-74. This station was servicing cars with even-numbered last digits on their license plates on an even-numbered calendar day. Image credit: David Falcone, National Archives and Record Administration

The 1973 oil embargo triggered a mad rush of electric-vehicle research. Forty years later, we’re seeing the results

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Observations

“All of the Above” Energy Means More Fracking, Renewables, Nukes and Clean Coal

ernest-moniz

There is no technical issue with fracking, the controversial technique of fracturing shale rock with high-pressure, chemically treated water to release natural gas. But there is clearly a political one, judging by the multiple interruptions to a talk at Columbia University by new Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz. The affable former M.I.T. professor and [...]

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Observations

Are Pipelines Safer Than Railroads for Carrying Oil?

lac-megantic-explosion-from-space

The glut of new oil in North America has been accompanied by a boom in moving that petroleum by train. Railway traffic of crude oil in tankers has more than doubled in volume since 2011—and such transport led to tragedy in the early hours of July 6. At least 13 people were killed in the [...]

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Observations

EPA on Keystone XL: Significant Climate Impacts from Tar Sands Pipeline

In a draft assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, consultants for the U.S. State Department judged that building it would have no significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Why? Because the analysts assumed the tar sands oil would find a way out with or without the new pipeline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does [...]

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Observations

Why Jim Hansen Stopped Being a Government Scientist [Video]

Why did James Hansen retire on April 2 after 32 years as director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies? As he told the enterprising students of Columbia University’s Sustainability Media Lab who captured him in the following video, “I want to devote full time to trying to help the public understand the urgency of [...]

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Observations

Oil Addiction, Not Fracking, Caused the 2011 Oklahoma Earthquakes

Earthquakes have become more than 10 times more common in normally quiescent parts of the U.S., such as Ohio and Oklahoma, in the past few years. Given the simultaneous uptick in fracking—an oil and gas drilling technique that involves fracturing shale rock deep underground with the use of a high pressure water cocktail—it’s common to [...]

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Plugged In

U.S. petroleum exports rise while East Coast continues to import

twip140904fig1-lg

Petroleum product exports are on track for another banner year, with total exports climbing to a 3.7 million barrels per day (bbpd) average for 2014 from just under 3.5 million bbpd in 2013. However, on the East Coast, imports for some fuels increased by almost 50% in the first half of 2014. According to a report published [...]

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Plugged In

How Does Oil and Gas Drilling Raise Electricity Prices in West Texas?

Often, oil and gas drilling occurs in rural areas without sufficient electricity infrastructure. (Photo by Richard Childress)

In July 2012, Frontier Texas, an Old West museum located in Abilene, received an electric bill nearly $4,000 higher than expected. Oddly enough, the museum hadn’t used an unusual amount of power that month. Rather, the cause of the high bill was the fact that Abilene lies in Texas’s western power trading zone, which happens [...]

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Plugged In

The United States Gets Most of Its Oil From…

270px-Oil_well

..the United States. Have you heard? Computer scientist and data whiz Randy Olson dove into the UT Energy Poll data and noticed that the American public is pretty confused about where we get out energy. I can’t say I’m surprised, but Randy highlights the need for raising energy literacy across the U.S. He points out [...]

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Plugged In

Did Congestion Charging Just Go Viral?

Congestion charging point in Stockholm. Image courtesy of Transport Styrelsen.

What is congestion charging? Congestion charging or pricing is the practice of setting up cordon tolls around the city on a large-scale to charge entrants for entering during peak hours. Ideally, this is done in an automatic fashion with cameras registering your license plate and directly billing you. This is different from low emissions zones, [...]

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Plugged In

To Unlock Wind, Build Transmission Lines Linking the Plains to the Cities

Transmission Lines_2

A vital factor affecting the economics of any energy source is transportation: where is the fuel extracted, where is it used, and how does it get from point A to point B? An example is the case of Texas versus North Dakota, both of which have experienced a boom in oil and gas production from [...]

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Plugged In

Fuel/Cost Savings of Improving Fuel Economy from 12->15 mpg = 30->60 mpg

Fuel economy is not as straight-forward as you might think. Image courtesy: fragallo

Consumer tip-of-the-day: increasing efficiency of fuel economy on a miles-per-gallon scale is not linear, as more miles-per-gallon (mpg) are initially better for your wallet and the planet than you might expect, and eventually trail off with diminishing returns. Last week, a friend pointed out a good blog post by Nicholas Chase and the Energy Information [...]

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Plugged In

A Look At Our (Mostly) Independent Energy Future

energy imports

In my last post, I described how the past eight US presidents pledged to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. None have succeeded yet… but by the time President Obama leaves office, oil imports will be lower than when he arrived, but as I previously explained, it’s not all because of his administration.* Now let’s [...]

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Plugged In

Photo Friday: California’s Signal Hill Oil Field (1930)

01

This photo is of the Signal Hill Oil Field at Atlantic and 28th Streets in Long Beach, California, USA around 1930. It is one of a large group of energy photos maintained by the California Department of Conservation. Photo Credit: Photo of the Signal Hill oil field at Atlantic and 28th Streets, circa 1930. Courtesy of the [...]

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Plugged In

Photo Friday: California’s Signal Hill Oil Field (1923)

Signal_Hill_California_1923

This photo was taken of the city of Signal Hill, California in 1923. Located near Los Angeles and Long Beach, Signal Hill was a part of the Long Beach Oil Field and home to one of the nation’s most well known oil wells – The Alamitos No. 1. The numerous oil derricks that popped up [...]

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Plugged In

Exploding oil train, Alabama edition

AL_train_oil_385

Well, this is becoming an unfortunate trend. Another train carrying oil has derailed and exploded, this time in Alabama. From the Reuters news report: A 90-car train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in western Alabama in the early hours of Friday morning, spilling oil and leaving eleven cars burning in the rural area. No [...]

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