Oil Spill Simulation Shows Super Crappy Independence Day

UPDATE: Check out Bill’s comments below. It seems that this visualization may be taking us for a ride.

Fascinating computer simulation shows the oil slick wrapping around Florida and basically taking a crap all over the eastern seaboard starting about July 4.

I don’t really care about blame on this issue. That being said, I pretty much blame BP.

More seriously, though, it seems to me (as a totally ignorant observer) that we’re quickly coming to a point where containment of what has already leaked out is just as important as stopping the leak. Is it totally impractical to assume that the US naval reserves might be able to take charge of the slick containment work? Is there any plan to do that?

I don’t know, I’m just asking. If you have anything resembling the answer, I’d love to hear it.

8 comments

  1. Pablo says:

    Gonna guess the Coast Guard would be more the folks to handle this, but I don’t think it’s their forte. BP is supposed to have the equipment available for this type of work. As I understand it, it’s a condition of operating the well.

  2. Ed Skinner says:

    I’m a fatalist. Watch the movie, “Soylent Green”.

  3. Joe Cool says:

    There are people who have dealt with large-scale spill cleanup before, but it seems like their expertise is being ignored. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/gulf-oil-spill-supertankers-051310 is one of many articles that show these guys being ignored. My guess is that is had to do with emptying super-tankers too soon will lower the cost of oil – it will probably take an order from the federal government to get it done.

  4. Bill says:

    The false color in that simulation is rather misleading. The scale on the left indicates that that great big plume represents very nearly zero oil. The false color would indicate that there is a lot of oil in that region, but that is not so. A more accurate false color would have the yellow color in the plume be almost indistinguishable from the blue of the surrounding ocean.

    This simulation also represents, not surface floating oil, but dispersed oil, oil that has mixed with the water due to the action of the “dispersants” that have been the main tool for combating this spill to date, this is representative of things working correctly. If the oil can be dispersed and mixed with the sea water, then natural processes will break down the oil.

    The important thing is to prevent floating, newly leaked oil from reaching coastlines. This is because when oil is newly leaked, it contains a number of fairly toxic chemicals, but those evaporate in a few days. The older, heavier oils are less problematic, they do less damage in the environment and are easier for natural processes to remediate. Tar balls may be ugly, but they do not pose a significant environmental threat. If, however, newly leaked oil reaches a coastline, then the oil sinks into the sand or gravel at teh coast, and the toxic chemicals are slowly released over time.

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oilspills.htm
    http://www.itopf.com/marine-spills/fate/weathering-process/

  5. Concerning this topic, it is difficult to find good information on the Web. Thanks for sharing your opinions on natural health and related topics. Incidentally, do you have any savvy opinions on where I can search for more useful suggestions on the Web? Keep up the excellent work!

  6. To start earning money together with your blog, initially use Google adsense but steadily as your traffic
    increases, keep adding increasingly more dollars producing programs for your web site.
    thanks !! extremely helpful post!

  7. great read. I can tell you put a lot of thought into it. Keep up the good work!