August 6, 2010

THAT WAS EASY ENOUGH:

How did five million barrels of oil simply disappear? (Steve Connor, 8/06/10, Independent)

The other three-quarters no longer poses a significant threat to the environment, having mostly either evaporated or been dispersed, skimmed or burned off from from the sea surface, the NOAA scientists said.

Although the amount of oil still remaining in the environment, nearly 1.3 million barrels, is about five times the amount spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989, scientists believe that it is unlikely to cause as much damage as this notorious spill. The oil from the Gulf of Mexico is lighter than the usual heavy crude oil, and it will be easier to degrade naturally because there is a greater volume of water so it will dilute faster, and the warmer temperatures of the Gulf help bacterial degradation.

"This is good news. We've been saying all along that this wasn't the catastrophe that the politicians and the media would have us believe – but of course there is no such thing as a good oil spill," said Simon Boxall, an oceanographer from the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton University.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2010 5:28 AM
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