Tag Archives: Deepwater Horizon

We Should Take a Holistic Approach to Environmental Risk Assessment Following Oil Spills

A guest editor post by Sharon Hook, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

With the recent pipeline leak in the waters off of Orange County, California, USA, oil spills are once again in the headlines. We are hearing the concerns of the affected communities about what the consequences of this spill will be for wildlife, fisheries, and safe use of the beaches. After all of the decades of oil spill-related research, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the environmental impacts of oil spills. It is a good opportunity, to ask ourselves as environmental scientists, if we are asking the right questions in our research into the impacts of oil spills, and if we are setting up our studies with the most environmentally relevant approaches.

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The Die-Off of Bottlenose Dolphins: Unusual Mortality Events

By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor

During the past year, bottlenose dolphins – known sentinels of ocean health – have been dying at an alarming rate along the US East and Gulf Coasts, albeit for apparently different causes. Along the East Coast, a major cause of death is dolphin morbillivirus, a pathogen related to human measles and canine distemper, which is responsible for an epidemic probably fueled by current lack of immunity and perhaps aided by global warming and pollution – factors that may increase the dolphin susceptibility to infection.
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