The Deepwater Horizon disaster is no Exxon Valdez, says marine chemist Edward Overton. Instead of a "black tide" of crude oil flushing into marshlands, Overton is looking for mostly "tarballs" to invade the Gulf Coast's beaches and marshes.
The technological and ecological disaster unfolding on the Gulf Coast may end up being one for the record books, but the tragic failure to contain the deep-seated pressures 7 kilometers beneath the Gulf of Mexico was not likely the result of overreaching.
Yesterday, in an effort to reduce the amount of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, crews began igniting parts of the spill in discrete patches. This technique has been used in a few instances in the past.