Researchers announce that optical remote sensing observations may provide close estimates of relative oil thickness/volume for large oil slicks in the ocean captured by satellites.
Two new studies have shown that sunlight transforms oil spills on the ocean surface more significantly and quickly than previously thought. The phenomenon considerably limits the effectiveness of chemical dispersants, which are designed to break up floating oil and reduce the amount of oil that reaches coastlines.
Oil spills occur on a regular basis, leading to messy decontamination challenges. But however widespread and serious the damage may be, the solution could be microscopic — Alcanivorax borkumensis — a bacterium that feeds on hydrocarbons. A research team shows the effectiveness of enzymes produced by the bacterium in degrading petroleum products in soil and water. Their results offer hope for a simple, effective, and eco-friendly method of decontaminating water and soil at oil sites.