Where's the oil? Model suggests much may be gone

Discussion in 'Environment' started by strollingbones, May 14, 2010.

  1. strollingbones

    strollingbones Diamond Member

    Aug 18, 2008
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    NEW ORLEANS — For a spill now nearly half the size of Exxon Valdez, the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is pretty hard to pin down.

    Satellite images show most of an estimated 4.6 million gallons of oil has pooled in a floating, shape-shifting blob off the Louisiana coast. Some has reached shore as a thin sheen, and gooey bits have washed up as far away as Alabama. But the spill is 23 days old since the Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and killed 11 workers, and the thickest stuff hasn't shown up on the coast.

    So, where's the oil? Where's it going to end up?

    Government scientists and others tracking the spill say much of the oil is lurking just below the surface. But there seems to be no consensus on whether it will arrive in black waves, mostly dissipate into the massive Gulf or gradually settle to the ocean floor, where it could seep into the ecosystem for years.

    When it comes to deepwater spills, even top experts rely on some guesswork.

    One of their tools, a program the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses to predict how oil spills on the surface of water may behave, suggests that more than a third of the oil may already be out of the water.

    About 35 percent of a spill the size of the one in the Gulf, consisting of the same light Louisiana crude, released in weather conditions and water temperatures similar to those found in the Gulf now would simply evaporate, according to data that The Associated Press entered into the program.

    The Associated Press: Where's the oil? Model suggests much may be gone

    deep sea oil spills...i dont believe the oil has just vanished..without harm...do you?
  2. onecut39

    onecut39 VIP Member

    Dec 3, 2008
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    One thing different here is that they are applying massive dispersants right on top of the spill and these chemicals are breaking up the oil below the surface. This means the crude broken into small bubbles is sinking. How far? No one knows. Where will in end up? No one knows. How toxic is this mixture? no one knows. It could wind up on the Norwegian coast.

    Idon't find all that very reassuring.

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