Grim News from the Gulf: Invisible Plumes and Bleaker Estimates

Saturday, August 21, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Heather Horn
August 20, 2010

The situation in the Gulf was looking good for a while. But the recent discovery of a massive, invisible underwater oil plume is changing that outlook. Here are some of the latest developments that bode ill for those hoping for a quick cleanup:

•The New Plume “Take Manhattan, turn it into oil and drop it in the Gulf,” writes Discover’s Andrew Moseman. “That’s the size of the submerged oil plume that scientists found … casting more doubt on those claims that the plumes weren’t so bad, or that most of the oil has been accounted for.” Moseman notes “the team’s numbers draw them into direct conflict with those provided by the government,” but points out, too, that “everybody’s estimates are complicated by the sheer difficulty of tracking and predicting the flow of oil in water.”
•How Much Oil? ‘Pick a Number’ The latest estimate, writes Randy Rieland at environmental hub Grist, is that “only 10 percent of the oil that gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon well was ‘actually removed from the ocean.'” That’s one of the more “pessimistic” estimates thus far, and comes from an oceanographer at Florida State University. It’s also “wildly at odds with what the feds have been saying–that as much as 75 of the oil is gone.”

The Rest…HERE

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