Environment Correspondent
Deborah's Feed
Jul 28, 2010

Special Report: Watching grass grow in the Gulf, and cheering!

BIRDFOOT DELTA, Louisiana (Reuters) – Marsh grasses are the tough guys of the plant world. Left alone, they dominate coastal marshes from Texas to Newfoundland. Burn their stems and leaves, and they come back bushier than ever.

They help slow down hurricanes and filter pollution. As impenetrable to humans as a green wall, they shelter birds, fish and endangered mammals, and act as nurseries for commercial species like shrimp and crabs.

Jul 28, 2010

Watching grass grow in the Gulf, and cheering!

BIRDFOOT DELTA, Louisiana, July 28 (Reuters) – Marsh
grasses are the tough guys of the plant world. Left alone, they
dominate coastal marshes from Texas to Newfoundland. Burn their
stems and leaves, and they come back bushier than ever.

They help slow down hurricanes and filter pollution. As
impenetrable to humans as a green wall, they shelter birds,
fish and endangered mammals, and act as nurseries for
commercial species like shrimp and crabs.

Jul 19, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

What does an oiled pelican look like?

Photo

You’ve probably seen the disturbing images of pelicans so badly mired in leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico that they can barely be distinguished as birds at all — they look like part of the muck.

But nearly three months after the blowout at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, there are other pelicans touched by the oil where the impact is far less apparent, though still real.

Jun 28, 2010

Hustle and flow: how much oil is really gushing?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billions of dollars and the future of one the world’s lushest ecosystems could all ride on one elusive number: the precise amount of oil gushing from the broken BP well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Evidently, it’s not an easy number to calculate. Estimates have ranged from a 1,000 barrels a day to 100,000 barrels a day. Some say it depends who’s doing the figuring; others point to the unpredictable conditions that go along with drilling for oil deep beneath the seabed.

Jun 22, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

What’s in a name? Will BOE smell sweeter than MMS?

Photo

Shakespeare definitely put it best, in that famous balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet”: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” But what if the original smell wasn’t so great? Will a name change make a difference?

That might have been the purpose behind the Obama administration’s decision to change the name of the U.S. agency that oversees offshore oil drilling — the Minerals Management Service — to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or Bureau of Ocean Energy for short.

Jun 17, 2010

BP chief evades questions at Capitol Hill grilling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Surrounded by handlers and the customary scrum of photographers, a tense BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday deflected tough questions at what has become a set-piece in the U.S. capital: the congressional grilling.

Sitting alone at the witness table, Hayward looked sheepish but gave a controlled performance in the face of hours of invective and a barrage of questions from a U.S. House of Representatives committee on the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Jun 17, 2010

Undersea robot aims for 3-D image of BP oil plume

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists geared up on Wednesday for a 12-day trip in the Gulf of Mexico with an undersea robot they hope will capture 3-D images of oil plumes from the BP spill.

Oceanographers and others have been monitoring the plumes of oil, gas and dispersant chemicals coming from the broken BP wellhead since soon after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.

Jun 16, 2010

May 2010 was warmest on record – US govt data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last month was the warmest May on record, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Tuesday.

It was also the 303rd consecutive month that was hotter than the 20th century global average for that month, according to Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Jun 16, 2010

May 2010 was warmest on record: U.S. government data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last month was the warmest May on record, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Tuesday.

It was also the 303rd consecutive month that was hotter than the 20th century global average for that month, according to Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Jun 11, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Does Gulf spill controversy stretch all the way to Canada?

Photo

Oil and gas spewing from that broken wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico has spread at least as far as the Florida coast, and could go further. Controversy and questions about the relative safety of different kinds of fuel pipelines may have spread over an even wider area — taking in Washington DC, Alberta, Canada, and a big slice of the U.S. heartland.

Have the ripples from that BP spill reached the U.S. State Department? At least one environmental group thinks that could be the case. The State Department, which approves energy pipelines that cross international borders into U.S. territory, is considering the environmental impact of a massive pipeline that would have stretched from Canada’s oil sands fields all the way to Texas. But on Wednesday, the department extended the public comment period for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project a few weeks, from June 15 to July 2, with additional public meetings on the project on June 18 in Houston and on June 29 in Washington DC.

    • About Deborah

      "I started with Reuters in 1986 in New York City, moving to Washington DC two years later. I've covered the Winter Olympics in Calgary and Salt Lake City, a couple wars, the State Department, White House, Pentagon, several long trials and a presidential sex scandal. Since 2006, I've been reporting on the environment and climate change."
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