When 5 million barrels of oil spill into the ocean, something bad was obviously going to happen. However, no one really knew how deep the oil would penetrate and how much damage it could cause.
The scientists do need further tests to prove that these dead coral reefs are directly related to the BP Oil Spill but given the evidence—proximity to the BP Oil Spill (11km southwest), the previous presence of oil plumes and the matter of which the coral reefs died—the scientists believe there’s a pretty strong link. According to Charles Fisher, chief scientist on the gulf expedition:
Oil seeps naturally from the seafloor throughout the Gulf of Mexico, but that was unlikely to have caused such a severe coral die-off, he added. “We have never seen anything like this at any of the deep coral sites that we’ve been to,” Dr. Fisher said. “And we’ve been to quite a lot of them.”
Looks like the after-aftereffects of the Oil Spill are trickling in. [NY Times]