Friday, 20 August 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: University Study Contradicts Government Estimates, Up To 79% of Oil Could Remain - Huffington Post

photo credit Huffington Post
(I mean really, does it look like it's mostly cleaned up??)

Ahhh, back from my glorious relaxing holiday...back to thinking about the spill. I leave these thoughts at home while I'm away, but they're always there to greet me upon my return!

So remember that post I made before about how the White House energy advisor, Carol Browner, said that the oil spill was mostly cleaned up? Yeah, we knew that was a load of BS, but here's proof.

A group of scientists from the University of Georgia did a study separate from the government's assessment and found that 70-79% of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon event is still present in the ecosystem.

"The research team...said that it is a misinterpretation of data to claim that oil that has dissolved is actually gone or harmless."

"Charles Hopkinson, who helped lead the investigation, claims "the oil is still out there, and it will likely take years to completely degrade." The UGA marine sciences professor, and director of the Georgia Sea Grant, added, "We are still far from a complete understanding of what its impacts are.""

Thank you, and sheesh! Obviously we're not gonna clean up 205 million gallons of oil in 100 days. That would be great - that would be a miracle! - but it didn't happen.

To finish, here's a pretty big quote, but I think it's important:

"Whether a glass is one-quarter full or one-quarter empty isn't exactly a matter of perspective. Why the discrepancy? According to a news release from UGA:

Hopkinson notes that the reports arrive at different conclusions largely because the Sea Grant and UGA scientists estimate that the vast majority of the oil classified as dispersed, dissolved or residual is still present, whereas the NIC report has been interpreted to suggest that only the "residual" form of oil is still present.

Hopkinson said that his group also estimated how much of the oil could have evaporated, degraded or weathered as of the date of the report. Using a range of reasonable evaporation and degradation estimates, the group calculated that 70-79 percent of oil spilled into the Gulf still remains. The group showed that it was impossible for all the dissolved oil to have evaporated because only oil at the surface of the ocean can evaporate into the atmosphere and large plumes of oil are trapped in deep water."

Full article here (Huffington Post)

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