Oil and methane that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon blowout could form deep LOW-OXYGEN “DEAD ZONES” near the spill’s source with oxygen depletion peaking in October, according to simulations from researchers at Princeton and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists investigated five scenarios of oil and methane plumes at different depths and concluded that toxic concentrations of dissolved oil arising from the spill likely will be “locally significant but regionally confined to the northern Gulf of Mexico.” The study was accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters.   WEB BONUS LINK   To view animations of the dissolved oil plume, click here.

HAPPINESS INCREASES WITH INCOME, but the effect levels out as one’s salary reaches about $75,000, according to recent research by Princeton professors Daniel ­Kahneman and Angus Deaton. The finding, culled from an emotional well-being survey of 450,000 Americans, was published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sept. 7.