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That Oil Slick



May 17, 2010 – Comments (9)

I have been following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, indeed, as we are looking at marine systems in science it has been an incredible opportunity to bring news into the classroom.  Also, our marine systems unit has students look at oil drilling that could happen in the Beaufort Sea area.

Anyway, SkyTruth has been a great site to follow for visuals and assessment on the spill supported by reasons.  Just now was disturbing to look at.  Cloud cover has hidden a huge part of the spill.  I think today's estimate of how much water is covered in oil slick has almost doubled from yesterday as it is a clear day and the oil has been expanding under the cloud cover.

Anyway, have a look at SkyTruth.

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 17, 2010 at 6:17 PM, Philyogy (64.74) wrote:

One of the scariest parts, is this could soon be a global crisis, if it hits the currents... Not only that, but they are thinking of setting a bomb off, to collapse the  leak... I can only imagine what type of damage and or after shock, may be caused from an explosion so deep.. Who's to say that it would work, and not create a larger oil leak?...

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#2) On May 18, 2010 at 2:12 AM, HarryCaraysGhost (60.56) wrote:


I heard on the radio today that Africa has 4 oil spills per year equvilant to one Exxon Valdez. (each spill being equal to)

Have'nt done the research yet but it is food for thought. 

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#3) On May 18, 2010 at 6:25 AM, dwot (29.50) wrote:


About the ocean currents, yes, we looked at the ocean currents and that last picture sure makes it look like it is heading for the ocean currents which means it could affect all of the Atlantic fisheries and coasts.

And the setting off an explosion, egads, what a disasterous idea.  Gas and oil are formed much deeper in the earth then where we find it.  It gradually seeps towards the surface until it finds an impermeable  "ceiling."  I can't see how an explosion creates anything other then a permeable ceiling.  If the rocks don't settle right you have a ceiling with big holes.  


We did some research on the size of the Exxon Valdez spill and that is one of the most popular spills to compare to but there have been many spills much bigger.  The Exxon Valdez spill happened in a place where it affected an enormous amount of coastline.

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#4) On May 18, 2010 at 8:02 AM, devoish (82.19) wrote:

It is just a choice.

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#5) On May 18, 2010 at 9:20 AM, PDTBiotech (83.58) wrote:

Long BP, outrage would be higher if oil supply was constrained and prices rose than any environmental disaster this can generate.  Starting with very small position, may scale in as events unfold.

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#6) On May 18, 2010 at 10:49 AM, dwot (29.50) wrote:

We'll see PDTBiotech.  There is over 3 million people who depend on that gulf for their work and they can make a lot of noise.  I don't think that counts the tourism industry which is hurting because of this.

This made my heart sink, tar balls in Key West.  Key West is such a beautiful paradise or was without tar balls.

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#7) On May 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM, lemoneater (57.37) wrote:

Dwot, glad that you are using this tragedy as a teaching opportunity. I forget who said: "Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it." Perhaps because of this some of your students will make wise decisions in the future and prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

I'm all for utilizing science and technology to develop natural resources but only as long as ethics and common sense are part of the equation. 

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#8) On May 20, 2010 at 9:12 PM, dwot (29.50) wrote:

I saw Big Picture did a post on how the oil has now been caught by the current that will carry the oil up the Atlantic coast.  I have been looking at those currents with my students and we saw this was coming last week.

It is absolutely mind boggling the degree to which the surface oil has expanded in the past couple days.

The other news is that BP is now recovering 5,000 barrels per day, which is basically their estimate of what was spilling.  There are still two other breaks spewing oil into the ocean and the big one still isn't stopped so it certainly supports other's estimates in the 20,000-100,000 range.

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#9) On May 21, 2010 at 9:17 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (60.56) wrote:

Kevin Costner to the rescue?

Dwot what do you think? sounds crazy enough to work.

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