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Gulf Oil Spill Nearing Loop Current 334

Posted by kdawson
from the gettin-loopy-wid-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Per The Weather Channel's tropical expert Dr. Richard Knabb, 'based on satellite images, model simulations, and on-site research vessel reports, I think it is reasonable to conclude that the oil slick at the surface is very near or partially in the Loop Current. The Loop Current is responsible in the first place for extending that stream of oil off to the southeast in satellite imagery. With its proximity to the northern edge of the Loop Current it may be only a matter of weeks or even days before the ocean surface oil is transported toward the Florida Keys and southeast Florida.'" Other experts are a little more cautious: "We know the oil has not entered the Loop Current," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said at a news conference Monday afternoon. "A leading edge sheen is getting close to it, but it has not entered the Loop Current. The larger volume of oil is several miles from the Loop Current."
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Gulf Oil Spill Nearing Loop Current

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  • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:16AM (#32251222) Homepage

    I think this story is a little old now, oil is already at Key West.

    Coast Guard: Tar Balls Found Off Key West, Fla.

    POSTED: Monday, May 17, 2010
    UPDATED: 11:26 pm EDT May 17, 2010

    KEY WEST, Fla. -- The U.S. Coast Guard says 20 tar balls have been found off Key West, Fla., but the agency stopped short of saying whether they came from a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Some 5 million gallons of crude has spewed into the Gulf and tar balls have been washing ashore in several states along the coast.

    Scientists are worried that oil is getting caught in a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.

    The Coast Guard says the Florida Park Service found the tar balls on Monday during a shoreline survey. The balls were 3-to-8 inches in diameter.

    Coast Guard Lt. Anna K. Dixon said no one at the station in Key West was qualified to determine where the tar balls originated. They have been sent to a lab for analysis.

    Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    • How old are they? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Two99Point80 (542678) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:39AM (#32251408) Homepage
      There's a lot of discussion about this over at dailykos - apparently tarballs take a while to form, as opposed to the brownish goo seen on the "60 Minutes" piece. So if they're actually tarballs they're not from this release of oil. They're being analyzed.
      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @09:00AM (#32251606) Homepage

        Yup, I read that discussion with interest. Apparently the "tarballs" are actually globs of nano-sized Black Helicopters created under the Majestic-12 program at Area 51 by Haliburton on orders from the Tea Party and their New World Order masters, the Lizard Man Kings of the Houses of Saud and Bush.

        Admittedly I kind of skimmed the comments, and in fact I wasn't sure that was the tarballs article - it could have been any DailyKos story.

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @09:14AM (#32251740) Journal
          Those guys are morons.

          Everybody knows that Haliburton's patented petro-evil technology is the best in the business for artificially triggering earthquakes near impoverished nations as a pretext for the militarized export of neoliberal capitalism; but if you want nano-sized Black Helicopters, you need the nanotech that SAIC acquired when the reverse-engineered the Roswell Grey artefacts under contract from the Rand corporation...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:58AM (#32251576)

      I think this story is a little old now

      This. We real Linux geeks have been using tarballs since the 70s and BP comes along does it on a massive and claims it as something new. I'm sure they've even gone out and gotten patents on it (just because you add "in the water" doesn't make it patentable, goddammit!). I bet M$ put them up to it, the bastards.

    • by solevita (967690)

      the agency stopped short of saying whether they came from a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

      I guess that's the important thing, in your own quoted text, that you forgot to take into account.

    • 20 tar balls oh my God.

      How are a few dozen tar balls on a beach an ecological disaster? It sounds more like a summer job opportunity for local teenagers - the local city council offers $10 per pound of tar ball collected at the beach.

      How do they know that these tar balls even originated from the BP spill? There is a lot of natural leakage of oil into the Gulf (estimates are around 2000 barrels per day, every day year in year out since the formation of the Gulf millions of years ago), and this isn't exactly

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SethJohnson (112166)

        It sounds more like a summer job opportunity for local teenagers - the local city council offers $10 per pound of tar ball collected at the beach.

        How quaint. The deadly disaster has suddenly been spun into a summer employment opportunity for Archie and his chums. Oh wait. They don't know how to scuba dive, so their tar collection will be limited to walking along the shore. Tar down in the coral and elsewhere along the ocean floor will go uncollected.

        Oh, and since this imaginative $10/lb. bounty program o

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stephanruby (542433)

          ...the incentive is to go after the low-hanging fruit of big globs and ignore the smaller pieces.

          Speak for yourself. The real challenge lies in manufacturing your own tar balls that can pass as the real thing, and yet manufacture them in such mass quantities that you can recoup your expenses and then some (of course, when I am speaking of expenses, I'm not counting the cost of ruining your mom's kitchen, her pots and bathtub, nor am I including the cost of retarring your neighbors roof and driveway. They have jobs. You don't. They can certainly afford to subsidize your entrepreneurial spirit).

  • I wonder with both statements, if they refer to just what they can see from the surface, or what is under the surface. Just because a surface slick may be close to the loop, the majority of the oil may not be close at all, and vice verse. Either way its not good.

  • Nuke it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epiphani (254981) <<ten.lad> <ta> <inahpipe>> on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:17AM (#32251234)

    I'm no geologist or really much of a scientist at all, but I recall the nuke thread and didn't really get to ask the question: why is nuking this oil well a bad idea? Everyones' initial response was "nuke it? haha, that's preposterous!" but I didn't really see an explanation of why its not a viable option?

    Assuming it worked at stopping the continuing spill, what would be the negative effects? Assuming it didn't, what would be the negative effects of trying?

    • Re:Nuke it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:21AM (#32251252)

      Assuming it worked at stopping the continuing spill, what would be the negative effects?

      British Petroleum would lose the well permanently and have to drill a new one.

      --
      BMO

      • Re:Nuke it. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Walterk (124748) <dublet.acm@org> on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:27AM (#32251302) Homepage Journal

        Oh boo hoo? Given the choice between losing the well and having the well spill all of it's contents into the ocean and causing havoc on the environment in the Gulf, Florida, the Atlantic and possibly around Europe once it gets into the Gulf Stream, I think we should deprive BP of a few billion dollars.

        • Re:Nuke it. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @09:39AM (#32251996)
          Goodluckwiththat.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moosesocks (264553)

        They're already in the process of plugging the well permanently. Unless I'm interpreting this plan incorrectly, this will also create two new wellheads (although I'm not sure that they will be usable as production wells).

        In any event, the currently leaking well was for exploration purposes only.

        We also want to prevent something like this [wikipedia.org] from happening.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          That doesn't even look like a big problem to me in comparison.

          It seems much easier to tap energy from that crater than to do what they are having to do to plug the Gulf well.

          Of course they should figure out if they would actually get significant energy from it. If yes, do some seismic studies to have a guess at how much gas is left, and whether there are any more "surprising" caverns under the surface that they might wish to avoid...
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by !coward (168942)

            To the GP: holy crap! Thanks for the link, mate, had no idea such a thing existed -- I would've probably sided with the idiotic geologists who thought the whole thing would extinguish in a few days. Since 1971 and counting? Talk about the mother of all fires!

            To the Parent: What I believe the GP was trying to imply is that should they somehow manage to ignite the crude in the well, either directly should the energy from, say, a nuclear explosion go off its projected dispersion path and make the entire well's

      • by h00manist (800926)

        Assuming it worked at stopping the continuing spill, what would be the negative effects?

        British Petroleum would lose the well permanently and have to drill a new one.

        -- BMO

        I thought they already were drilling something like a "relief well?"

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by YackoYak (153131)

        British Petroleum would lose the well permanently and have to drill a new one.

        --
        BMO

        I love how trolls can get modded +5 Insightful here. Please elaborate on your experience in the oil & gas industry.

        I am a product engineer that designs subsea equipment. The company I work for sells equipment to the majors, one of them being BP. I can't tell you the amount of hours people have worked to try and fix this problem. In addition to the people involved, people that have had zero to do with the original Horizon products/well are creating Plan A - D solutions in 24-hour shifts. This is all in a

    • Re:Nuke it. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lord Byron II (671689) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:24AM (#32251278)

      And what exactly do you think that a nuke will do?

      The problem is that there is a massive oil reserve deep underground that is under extreme pressure, but contained by rock and dirt. BP has tapped into that reserve with basically a giant straw and now that straw is leaking. Detonating a nuclear bomb near the leak could open that hole up wider allowing much, much oil to flow past.

      Furthermore, AFAIK, the effects of a nuclear bomb on underwater sea life are basically unknown. And instead of the nuclear fallout landing on the ground near the explosion, as it would in an above ground explosion, here the fallout would be free to travel in the ocean currents.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tnk1 (899206)

        What happens when you hit underwater sea life with a nuke?

        The same thing that happens to anything else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Thanshin (1188877)

          What happens when you hit underwater sea life with a nuke?

          The same thing that happens to anything else.

          And we don't want green, muscular, lobsters?

        • Re:Nuke it. (Score:5, Funny)

          by solevita (967690) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:34AM (#32251358)

          What happens when you hit underwater sea life with a nuke?

          The same thing that happens to anything else.

          Ill-tempered mutated sea bass?

          • by sunking2 (521698)
            I think this was a scifi Saturday night movie. Giant Killer Piranha or something like that. I think it just ticked them off and then they ate the submarine that tried to nuke them. Not nearly as cool as the shark snagging the 747 out of the sky movie.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            Ill-tempered mutated sea bass?

            I vote for enormous radioactive fire-belching Kraken who can swallow aircraft carriers whole.

            Or wait, I saw that there were sea-turtle getting caught up in this oil spill. Could this be the origin of... Gamera?

            Either way, this idea of exploding a nuke deep in the sea floor in order to close an oil spill absolutely sounds like a recipe for kaiju.

        • What happens when you hit underwater sea life with a nuke?

          The same thing that happens to anything else.

          It dies?

          And that's worse than letting the oil spill kill things?

      • Re:Nuke it. (Score:5, Informative)

        by RMH101 (636144) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:31AM (#32251336)
        I think that it would cause the rock around the bore to fracture, slide, and block the bore. This has been done by the USSR successfully. Google "Petrocalamity".
      • by Rhaban (987410)

        Furthermore, AFAIK, the effects of a nuclear bomb on underwater sea life are basically unknown.

        As opposed to the effects of millions of tons of oil on underwater sea life, wich are very well known: it kills it.

      • Re:Nuke it. (Score:4, Informative)

        by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:39AM (#32251410)

        Furthermore, AFAIK, the effects of a nuclear bomb on underwater sea life are basically unknown. And instead of the nuclear fallout landing on the ground near the explosion, as it would in an above ground explosion, here the fallout would be free to travel in the ocean currents.

        Those who fail to learn the lessons of history [wikipedia.org] are doomed to repeat it in summer school.

      • by Goaway (82658)

        The idea is to explode the nuke deep underground to collapse the borehole. This works, but it is far from trivial to do several kilometers under the sea.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Furthermore, AFAIK, the effects of a nuclear bomb on underwater sea life are basically unknown.

        Not so. [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        Detonating a nuclear bomb near the leak could open that hole up wider allowing much, much oil to flow past.

        Placed properly, it will collapse the bore hole. Its been done before, the physics are well understood.

        Furthermore, AFAIK, the effects of a nuclear bomb on underwater sea life are basically unknown. And instead of the nuclear fallout landing on the ground near the explosion, as it would in an above ground explosion, here the fallout would be free to travel in the ocean currents.

        The bomb would be deton

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

          you sound informed on this topic, so perhaps you know:

          The physics are well know, we've detonated MANY bombs underground on our own soil. We know how far down it needs to be and how it will effect the surrounding rock.

          The physics under a mile of water are completely different than underground. Why would any of the nukes in our existing stockpile be able to take 5000' of pressure? A Trident can launch at 800 feet max, IIRC.

          And why would a nuke be superior to a MOAB? Just size?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094)

      The prospect of a nuke igniting the oil deposit is one of the more persuasive counterarguments. It may be a low probability, but when one of the possible side effects of an experiment is the destruction of life as we know it, that tends to make people shy away from trying it.

      • The prospect of a nuke igniting the oil deposit is one of the more persuasive counterarguments. It may be a low probability, but when one of the possible side effects of an experiment is the destruction of life as we know it, that tends to make people shy away from trying it.

        There is no oxygen under water, so the oil and gas can not ignite.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          There is no oxygen under water

          Remind me, in H2O, what does the O stand for again? Oil?

        • There is no oxygen under water, so the oil and gas can not ignite.

          There most certainly is oxygen under water... And one of the major concerns with this oil spill is that it is depleting the oxygen - possibly leading to the creation of a dead zone.

          It is also possible for things to burn underwater.

          I'm not suggesting that we're going to wind up with a big ol' submarine fireball... But just saying "duh, it's underwater, it can't burn" isn't really accurate.

          • by vlm (69642)

            And one of the major concerns with this oil spill is that it is depleting the oxygen - possibly leading to the creation of a dead zone.

            I thought the GoM was already a giant dead zone from all the fertilizer leaking down the Mighty Mississippi? I could swear I've seen satellite pics of the GoM with giant black dead zones.

            • I thought the GoM was already a giant dead zone from all the fertilizer leaking down the Mighty Mississippi? I could swear I've seen satellite pics of the GoM with giant black dead zones.

              Certain portions are definitely dead zones. I believe there's a seasonal dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi, for example.

              Certain portions are definitely not dead zones. There's some very good fishing around the Florida/Alabama region, for example.

            • I thought the GoM was already a giant dead zone

              Yet somehow, an overwhelming majority of seafood consumed in the USA comes from this region. More dead zones are a bad thing.

    • No, you fool! You'll awaken Godzilla!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nomaddamon (1783058)
      Russia has experimented with nuking underwater oil-spills and has been rather successful (they managed to close the well on 4 of 5 tries). (http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=et&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kp.ru%2Fdaily%2F24482%2F640124%2F&sl=ru&tl=en) The problem with this one is the massive oil reserve under the seabed. Should it rupture and release billions of barrels of oil that is under immense pressure, a Yellowstone scale extinction
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Goaway (82658)

      but I didn't really see an explanation of why its not a viable option?

      1. I doubt anyone has nukes designed to function at several kilometers underwater. One would have to be constructed first.

      2. You don't just set the nuke off near the hole and hope for the best. You drill a hole into the ground, insert the nuke, and seal the hole, and then explode it to collapse the drill hole. Thus, you need to drill this hole.

      Both of these take a lot of time, and there are many, many detail which may not be feasible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642)

        3. The smallest nuke that was historically deployed by the USA was the 155mm artillery shell. Conveniently already round, just like a well hole. And about 7 inches across. But I believe its officially out of the arsenal. You'll probably need a bigger hole, think goatse size gaping hole. But to kill the well with drilling mud, you only "need" like 2 inches or so diameter. So its going to take way the heck longer to drill the well to place the nuke, than to drill a simple mud-kill well. Why not shut th

    • I'm not certain that nuking the oil well is actually a bad idea.

      It might be a good idea... It might not...

      Nukes allow you to pack an awful lot of explosive power into a very small package, which may be exactly what we need. Or maybe it isn't.

      The problem is that as soon as you say the word "nuke" everyone freaks out.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      I think the problem with a nuke is more political than practical. This administration (which depends heavily on environmentalists for support) is already taking flack from the environmental left for having advocated more offshore drilling and for this accident. Using a nuke to seal it (especially if they weren't absolutely sure it would actually work), would be tantamount to Barack Obama holding up a giant sign reading "Don't vote for me next time" to a good chunk of his constituency. Contrary to what most
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Everyones' initial response was "nuke it? haha, that's preposterous!" but I didn't really see an explanation of why its not a viable option

      I also didn't see any explanation of why capturing an asteroid and stuffing it in the hole is not a viable option.

      Aren't we supposed to get the explanation on why it IS a viable option before getting the explanations why it's NOT?

      As much as I enjoy huge explosions that happen elsewhere, I'll need to get a little more clarity on how a nuclear detonation will stop oil from

    • by h00manist (800926)
      People and nuclear technology have a weird dance. Nuclear weapons are a cure to numerous difficult social problems. And nobody should have them, except me. They should not be used but always kept ready to use... they should be banned.. etc. Killing and death and it's preparations, methods and politics. Never fails to get everyone excited. Then the Nazi comments can come, end the conversations. and everyone shuts up and goes home, to do it all over again.
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:22AM (#32251256) Homepage

    "A leading edge sheen is getting close to it, but it has not entered the Loop Current. The larger volume of oil is several miles from the Loop Current."

    Oh, so the inevitable hasn't happened yet. That's so reassuring.

  • A plus? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:23AM (#32251272)

    Look at the bright side. Now the satellite imagery of the loop current will be much easier to read with the oil tracer.

  • drill baby drill! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:29AM (#32251320) Homepage Journal

    what was that crass slogan again?

    why don't i hear it anymore?

    meant to appeal to low iq dimwits as a valid solution to the energy crisis? you know, buy us a couple more months of soccer moms in SUVs in suburban sprawl, before the inevitable? hey, what's a little ecosystem destruction when we need to go to walmart to buy plastic crap and mcdonalds to shovel more calories in our distended waistlines? why's it smell like oil near the beach mommy?

    as the economy recovers, as newly rich brazilian, chinese, and indian economies begin to suck energy like the west, as the oil only gets deeper and deeper... welcome to a near future, 2015, 2020: $10 a gallon gas. except those brazilian, chinese, and indians: they are already seeking alternatives. you know like nuclear... NOT IN MY BACKYARD!

    you were warned back in the 1970s. but you kept funding the saudis, who kept building wahhabi madrassas in pakistan, and you got 9/11. but you still didn't see the writing on the wall. in fact, you thought it was a good excuse to secure some iraqi oil

    now you're destroying your own shorelines, and still living in denial, still a hopeless rationalizing junkie addict

    when the inevitable comes, when we can no longer afford the gas guzzling lifestyle, many of you will say "who saw that coming?"

    plenty of us did, jackass

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090)

      what was that crass slogan again?

      why don't i hear it anymore?

      meant to appeal to low iq dimwits as a valid solution to the energy crisis? you know, buy us a couple more months of soccer moms in SUVs in suburban sprawl, before the inevitable? hey, what's a little ecosystem destruction when we need to go to walmart to buy plastic crap and mcdonalds to shovel more calories in our distended waistlines? why's it smell like oil near the beach mommy?

      as the economy recovers, as newly rich brazilian, chinese, and indian economies begin to suck energy like the west, as the oil only gets deeper and deeper... welcome to a near future, 2015, 2020: $10 a gallon gas. except those brazilian, chinese, and indians: they are already seeking alternatives. you know like nuclear... NOT IN MY BACKYARD!

      you were warned back in the 1970s. but you kept funding the saudis, who kept building wahhabi madrassas in pakistan, and you got 9/11. but you still didn't see the writing on the wall. in fact, you thought it was a good excuse to secure some iraqi oil

      now you're destroying your own shorelines, and still living in denial, still a hopeless rationalizing junkie addict

      when the inevitable comes, when we can no longer afford the gas guzzling lifestyle, many of you will say "who saw that coming?"

      plenty of us did, jackass

      Yes, I'll bet you did.

      I suppose to prove your point you don't drive, you don't use oil in your house, you have solar panels on the roof and of course, you use all natural stuff, no plastic or anything made from oil?

      No? Then stfu.

      • by ZekoMal (1404259)
        Yeah, because if you don't live off the grid 100%, then oil will therefore last forever and we should just ignore all problems down the road!

        -cough-
        • by vlm (69642)

          ... we should just ignore all problems down the road!

          Well, basically, yes. For two reasons.

          Its very much like facing your own mortality, or mortality in general. Folks whom are a little further along the grieving path or however you want to describe it, tend to get tired of hearing people stuck at the "panic" and/or "bargaining" stage VERY loudly declaring their location on the path. To everyone before them on the path, they make no sense or at best are annoying. You're at the bargaining stage of the grief process, that's just great, and just why should

    • by ryanvm (247662)
      Spill, baby, spill!
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      That crass slogan was the result of people listening to an Alaskan politician on oil matters (might as well ask a Texan politician too, while you're at it). You don't get advice from someone with such a vested interest in the matter. That's like treating the governor of Nebraska as an objective adviser on the question of whether we need more wheat subsidies.
  • Guess I better go to the beach today while it's still a good place to be.
  • Streamlines (Score:5, Informative)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@EEEgmail.com minus threevowels> on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:36AM (#32251388)
    If you have a google account, check out this link [google.com]. It adds the ArcGIS Server - Message in a Bottle applet to your google maps. Click the map and watch the "bottle" travel the path of the streamlines. Do it a couple times around the area of the oil spill and get a rough idea of the possible trajectories. Yes there are significant differences between an oil slick on top of the water and a glass bottle, but I have yet to find anywhere else public-ish facing where you can dynamically plot stream line points for free. Map experts/enthusiast?
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:37AM (#32251392) Homepage

    The press is focussing too much on the "what if" and not the "what is."

    First of all, how do we even know that the oil is harmful? There haven't been any long-term scientific studies on oil spills of this much oil of this kind. Why, for all we know, it might be beneficial! We shouldn't rush to judgement until this has been properly studied.

    Second, let's stop using loaded terms like "pollution." Economists say we should measure the value of something by what people are willing to pay for it. Oil is worth $72 a barrel. The price of enough Instant Ocean to mix up a barrel of seawater is $8.72. So let's stop talking about oil as "polluting" seawater, let's be rational and unemotional and say that the oil is "enriching" the seawater.

    Third, hasn't it occurred to anyone that this oil might prevent the harmful sea surges that did so much damage to New Orleans during the Katrina disaster? Let's stop berating BP when all they're really doing is pouring oil on the troubled waters.

    • by gringer (252588)

      First of all, how do we even know that the oil is harmful?
      Second, let's stop using loaded terms like "pollution."
      Third, hasn't it occurred to anyone that this oil might prevent the harmful sea surges

      ...

      [that's a strong, emphasised "speechless"]

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Eh, the OP is undoubtedly a troll. No one could possibly be *that* stupid unless they were doing it on purpose.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Cool. Sarah Palin has an account on Slashdot!

      Hey, how's that "drill, baby, drill" workin' for ya?

      [John]

    • So, how long you been working in the Petroleum industry? Do you recall the damage inflicted by the Exxon Valdez? By the Santa Barbara spill in 1969? Surely the oil comes from a natural source but so does mercury. Do you want to sprinkle some mercury on your cornflakes? Yes, this stuff is polluting. There is no question of that. Unless you can drink a gallon of oil, this question is done.
  • bologna (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nadaou (535365) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:37AM (#32251394) Homepage

    Other experts are a little more cautious: "We know the oil has not entered the Loop Current," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said at a news conference Monday afternoon. "A leading edge sheen is getting close to it, but it has not entered the Loop Current. The larger volume of oil is several miles from the Loop Current."

    I think you got a word wrong there. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry is not an other expert in this area at all. Any other [scientific] expert would never make such an absolutist statement, and a few miles is within a hour or two's drift (*spread is not necessarily the same rate as the water currents) so by the time her statement hit the papers it would already be false. And who knows what the hell's going on subsurface where the satellites don't see?

    "Dispersal" of a slick into a cloud of droplets does not mean the cloud-plume itself has or will dispersed.

    And why has the US gov't not put its foot down and demanded that the invited but then uninvited (by BP the day before they thought the dome would work) Wood's Hole team be allowed to measure the flow rate with the instruments that BP claimed did not exist? [NY Times 16 May] Even if there's nothing much we can do with that number now, by having better data about the size of the spill and measuring the effects over the coming months and years we can better understand and plan future responses. I see what BP has to lose by that number being properly established, but why aren't they being forced to establish it anyway?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I see what BP has to lose by that number being properly established, but why aren't they being forced to establish it anyway?

      Maybe because they would have to remove the siphon they have running and stop collecting oil? Just let it spill out into the ocean while the scientists futz around with their equipment?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nadaou (535365)

        Maybe because they would have to remove the siphon they have running and stop collecting oil? Just let it spill out into the ocean while the scientists futz around with their equipment?

        besides the post facto aspect of your argument (they've had weeks) and the fact that you could sum the volumes of the siphoned and measured split, standard acoustic flow rate monitors clamp around the tube and can be placed well upstream of the siphon tube.

        I am not sure of the exact tech they plan(ned) to use, only that it's

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wow, so many ways your hate blinds you. But let's look at a factual one. Suppose, for a moment, that you've got a few robots working a mile undersea. Imagine these have umbilical cords a mile long. Imagine that these umbilical cords are connected to corks bobbing on top of the water. Imagine, now, that, while you're loosing a several million dollars a day, someone else wants to bring their own robot in and drive all around your work site. How well is that going to work? By the way, they're not there to help

  • Mostly BP's fault (Score:5, Informative)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:54AM (#32251542) Homepage Journal

    Rachel Maddow has shown an interview named BP's haste lays waste to Gulf waters [msn.com] with a whistleblower from BP who explained that just a little before the disaster a BP manager told Transocean manager to do the work of putting in the corks into the well faster, so that the pumping of oil could be done faster. Aparently the Transocean manager was against it and they had an argument and BP won.

    So it's mostly BP's fault, but I think still Transocean should not have complied with this clear violation of the procedure.

  • Yeah... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yoshi_mon (172895) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @08:54AM (#32251546)

    Was there any ever real doubt that a spill of this magnitude was not going to reach the loop?

    Here in Fla we get to deal with all sorts of fun naturally occurring things. And I don't really begrudge those things much like those people who live inland in tornado ally don't really begrudge mother nature for those things.

    But this...gah. And then on top of it I have to watch the super rich play the blame game? Fuck you. Seriously, fuck YOU.

  • Minimal Impact? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sking (42926)

    According to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, who was interviewed on last night's McNeil Lehrer News Hour [pbs.org], the oil entering the Loop will have minimal environmental impact in other parts of the Gulf. She opines that "By the time the oil is in the loop current, it's likely to be very, very diluted. And, so, it's not likely to have a very significant impact. It sounds scarier than it is."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quatin (1589389)

      But did she mention that some genius in DC figured it would be a good idea to let BP dump millions of gallons of soap into the water to sink the oil? The oil on the surface is but a percentage of the real oil pools. Mixing soap with the oil causes it to move lower in the sea column. The underwater oil columns are more dangerous in that they will wash onto coral and suffocate them from the bottom.

      Is she diluting BPs "5,000 barrels" per day or outside experts "100,000 barrels a day" estimate?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The researchers don't even know that what they measured was oil.

        Asper later e-mailed Los Angeles Times staff writer Raja Abdulrahim, who had interviewed him Sunday in Cocodrie, La.:

        1) We are not 100% sure that the plumes are oil. We have NOT analyzed the samples yet and won't know what's in them until we do. That will take at least a few days or even a week or more and we don't want to rush these results. The sensor we used is not definitive for oil and other compounds do respo

  • This disaster so far seems to be beyond our technology to control. Had this turned out to be an event that would destroy all life on Earth (Or if it still turns out to be,) we would have been completely powerless to stop it. The damage done to the ocean already is beyond our power to repair as well, our only option is to wait and let nature deal with it as best it can. Millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of technological development and we are still as weak and helpless as babies in a univ

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