Hidden Oil Plumes

Will the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico create dead zones? That’s the concern of University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye. She’s headed to the gulf to investigate how the oil and methane gas discharged by the BP Deepwater Horizon spill is impacting the ocean microbes that live there. We’ve all seen the images of dying animals and fouled wetlands, but Joye is focused on the less obvious but equally damaging impact on micro-organism populations that play an important role in regulating the critical oxygen balance of the ecosystem. With funding from a National Science Foundation Rapid Response Grant she is also looking at how the dispersants used to break up the oil are impacting marine life, including microbes, fish and shellfish.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:31

More Science Nation videos

Get Science360's video of the day in your mailbox each weekday.

Sign up now!