• cuninico-3

    Little known about impact of oil spills in Amazo...

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    A series of oil spills from an aging pipeline in northern Peru, combined with decades’ worth of pollution from oil drilling in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru have left…

    Read More

  • 04-informal mining-39

    5 myths about mercury in Madre de Dios

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    A new study found unsafe amounts of mercury in fish and people in Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Peru’s southeastern Madre de Dios Region. Average mercury levels in nine of…

    Read More

  • 08-nevado-35

    Andes mountains

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    The uplift of the Andes mountains over millions of years has been due to a combination of plate tectonics and volcanism. Tectonic plates are sections of the earth’s crust that are in…

    Read More

  • Sunset

    Pacific coast

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    Peru’s coast is a long strip of desert cut in more than 50 places by seasonal rivers that flow from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. But the coast…

    Read More

  • 32-qoyllur riti-15

    Tropical glaciers

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    The Andes are topped by the largest concentration of ice anywhere in the Earth’s tropics (the belt around the middle of the planet, between 30 degrees North and 30 degrees…

    Read More

  • 28-guano-58

    Guano islands

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    Along the Peruvian coast is a string of rocky islands and peninsulas that are home to guanay cormorants, boobies, and pelicans. The birds leave the islands every morning…

    Read More

Sep
20

Author:

Comment

Little known about impact of oil spills in Amazon

cuninico-3

A series of oil spills from an aging pipeline in northern Peru, combined with decades’ worth of pollution from oil drilling in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru have left thousands of indigenous and mestizo villagers wondering if their water is safe to drink and the fish are safe to eat. Surprisingly, scientists can’t tell them. There is little research about the environmental impacts of oil spills in freshwater ecosystems, and even less about spills in the Amazon. But even a small spill can have huge consequences for people whose only source of food and water are the forests, fields and rivers. In the Peruvian Amazon, people affected by spills are very worried about the fish. In Oil in the Amazon, an article I wrote for Science (available here in Spanish), researchers describe studies that may eventually lead to answers.

 

Luego de una serie de derrames de crudo de un oleoducto viejo en el norte del Perú, y la contaminación generada por décadas de producción de petróleo en la región amazónica del Perú y de Ecuador, los lugareños indígenas y mestizos se preguntan por la seguridad del agua que beben y el pescado que comen. Los científicos no les pueden contestar. Hay pocos estudios de los impactos de los derrames de petróleo en ecosistemas de agua dulce, y menos aun de derrames en la Amazonía. Sin embargo, un derrame pequeño en la Amazonia puede tener enormes consecuencias para comuneros que se alimentan de productos de los bosques, chacras y ríos. En el Perú, los comuneros se preocupan en particular por el pescado. En esta nota (versión en español aquí), que escribí para la revista Science, investigadores hablan de estudios que conducirían a respuestas.

Peru and Beyond

cuninico-3

Little known about impact of oil spills in Amazon

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A series of oil spills from an aging pipeline in northern Peru, combined with decades’ worth of pollution from oil drilling in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru have left…

04-informal mining-39

5 myths about mercury in Madre de Dios

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A new study found unsafe amounts of mercury in fish and people in Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Peru’s southeastern Madre de Dios Region. Average mercury levels in nine of…

03-selva-40

Telltale hairs reveal mercury in Peruvian miners’ bodies

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A new study shows that mercury from wildcat gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon is accumulating in the bodies of miners and other people in Peru’s southeastern Madre de Dios region. The…

Can’t see the forest for the (palm) trees

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oil palm plantations in Kalimantan – the Indonesian name for the island known in English as Borneo – are expanding at the expense of forest, leading to an increase in carbon emissions,…