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» Cruise Talk   » Idle Chatter   » Gulf Oil Spill Likely to Hit U.S. Atlantic Coast This Summer

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Author Topic: Gulf Oil Spill Likely to Hit U.S. Atlantic Coast This Summer
desirod7
First Class Passenger
Member # 1626

posted 06-04-2010 07:37 AM      Profile for desirod7     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Gulf Oil Spill Likely to Hit U.S. Atlantic Coast This Summer
by Environmental News Service
BOULDER, Colorado - Oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and into the open ocean as early as this summer, according to a detailed computer modeling study released today by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

An image from the NCAR computer model of the flow of Deepwater Horizon oil. (Image courtesy NCAR)
The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, NCAR's sponsor. The results were reviewed by scientists at NCAR and elsewhere, although not yet submitted for peer-review publication.

"I've had a lot of people ask me, 'Will the oil reach Florida?'" says NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, who worked on the study. "Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood."

The computer simulations indicate that, once the oil in the uppermost ocean has become entrained in the Gulf of Mexico's fast-moving Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida's Atlantic coast within weeks.
It can then move north as far as about Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with the Gulf Stream, before turning east to the open ocean.

Whether the oil will be a thin film on the surface or mostly subsurface due to mixing in the upper ocean is not known. The flow in the model represents the best estimate of how ocean currents are likely to respond under typical wind conditions.

More model studies are underway that will indicate what might happen to the oil in the Atlantic Ocean.

"We have been asked if and when remnants of the spill could reach the European coastlines," says Martin Visbeck, a member of the research team from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel, Germany.

"Our assumption is that the enormous lateral mixing in the ocean together with the biological disintegration of the oil should reduce the pollution to levels below harmful concentrations," said Visbeck. "But we would like to have this backed up by numbers from some of the best ocean models."

To model the flow of oil, NCAR scientists are using the Parallel Ocean Program, the ocean component of the Community Climate System Model, a powerful software tool developed by scientists at NCAR in collaboration with the Department of Energy. They are conducting the simulations at supercomputers based at the New Mexico Computer Applications Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The NCAR scientists simulated how a liquid released at the spill site would disperse and circulate, producing results that are not dependent on the total amount released.

The scientists tracked the rate of dispersal in the top 65 feet of the water and at four additional depths, with the lowest just above the sea bed.

"The modeling study is analogous to taking a dye and releasing it into water, then watching its pathway," Peacock says.

The dye tracer used in the model has no actual physical resemblance to true oil. Unlike oil, the dye has the same density as the surrounding water, does not coagulate or form slicks, and is not subject to chemical breakdown by bacteria or other forces.

Peacock and her colleagues stress that the simulations are not a forecast because it is impossible to accurately predict the precise location of the oil weeks or months from now.

Instead, the simulations provide possible scenarios for the oil dispersal. The timing and course of the oil slick will be affected by regional weather conditions and the ever-changing state of the Gulf's Loop Current, neither of which can be predicted more than a few days in advance.

The dilution of the oil relative to the source also will be impacted by bacterial degradation and other conditions, which are not included in the simulations.

What is possible, is to estimate a range of possible trajectories, based on the best understanding of how ocean currents transport material. The oil trajectory that actually occurs will depend on both on the short-term evolution of the Loop Current, which feeds into the Gulf Stream, and on the state of the overlying atmosphere.

Oil has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20 when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and caught fire. Oil giant BP, which leased the rig to drill a test well 18,000 feet below the seafloor has not been able to stem the flow of oil from the broken wellhead.

Now, 45 days after the spill began, an estimated 540,000 to 1.25 million barrels of oil have entered the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, according to statements by the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group and an addition estimate given by Incident Commandert U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen in a news briefing this week. Some of this oil has evaporated or been collected by skimmer boats or burned on the surface of the water.

The spill is located in a relatively stagnant area of the Gulf, and the oil so far has remained relatively confined near the Louisiana and Alabama coastlines, although there have been reports of small amounts in the Loop Current. Oil has come ashore in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

The model simulations show that a liquid released in the surface ocean at the spill site is likely to slowly spread as it is mixed by the ocean currents until it is entrained in the Loop Current. At that point, speeds pick up to about 40 miles per day, and when the liquid enters the Atlantic's Gulf Stream it can travel at speeds up to about 100 miles per day, or 3,000 miles per month.

The six model simulations released today all have different Loop Current characteristics, and all provide slightly different scenarios of how the oil might be dispersed. The simulations all bring the oil to south Florida and then up the East Coast. However, the timing of the oil's movement differs depending on the configuration of the Loop Current.

© 2010 Environmental News Service

[ 06-04-2010: Message edited by: desirod7 ]


Posts: 5726 | From: Philadelphia, Pa [home of the SS United States] | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
dmwnc1
Cruise Director
Member # 3785

posted 06-04-2010 09:08 AM      Profile for dmwnc1   Email dmwnc1   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dont think I have been this infuriated over an environmental disaster in quite some time. The images of the oil soaked pelicans, destroyed eco-systems, and soon-to-be dead barrier islands just makes me sick to my stomach, not to mentioned the soon-to-be-ruined pristine beaches along the South Florida Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, the lost jobs and livelyhood, and the impact on the fishing and tourism industry. 'Sorry' just doesnt cut it this time.

[ 06-04-2010: Message edited by: dmwnc1 ]


Posts: 5650 | From: Clarksburg WV | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
dmwnc1
Cruise Director
Member # 3785

posted 06-05-2010 09:33 AM      Profile for dmwnc1   Email dmwnc1   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A heart breaking story of how this oil spill is threathening endargered species and a fragile eco system:

SLIDESHOW

WHAT IS AT RISK

STORY HERE


Posts: 5650 | From: Clarksburg WV | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frosty 4
First Class Passenger
Member # 5826

posted 06-06-2010 11:33 AM      Profile for Frosty 4   Email Frosty 4   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just maybe we can get off this oil dependance.
In the end the consumer will pay for BPs ERRORS.

The big mess that was created in Kuwait when Saddam destroyed the oil wells there still lingers.
I had heard from those that were sent to get Kuwait back in order that the oil was like lakes along some of the highways. Maybe some one can comment as to what exists there now.
F4


Posts: 2531 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
lasuvidaboy
First Class Passenger
Member # 4527

posted 06-13-2010 04:04 PM      Profile for lasuvidaboy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I saw on the news that apparently the Jones Act is currently prohibiting foreign flagged oil-skimming ships from being deployed to the region.

[ 06-13-2010: Message edited by: lasuvidaboy ]


Posts: 7654 | From: Hollywood Hills/L.A. | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES
First Class Passenger
Member # 5641

posted 06-13-2010 06:24 PM      Profile for Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Author's Homepage   Email Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This now shows that the Jones Act can work against the USA when there is a problem of this size !

It could also prevent BP from bringing foreign flag ships in to help with the clean up.


Posts: 2355 | From: Dunstable, Bedfordshire. 30 miles north of London | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cunardcoll
First Class Passenger
Member # 1226

posted 06-13-2010 06:24 PM      Profile for Cunardcoll   Author's Homepage   Email Cunardcoll   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sometimes I get so ANGRY at the US government , at the moment Belgian Specialists can be there in a week and close the leak but the US don't let them because of their so called law system.
Posts: 944 | From: Belgium | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
desirod7
First Class Passenger
Member # 1626

posted 06-14-2010 08:59 AM      Profile for desirod7     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jochen, can you elaborate?

quote:
Originally posted by Cunardcoll:
Sometimes I get so ANGRY at the US government , at the moment Belgian Specialists can be there in a week and close the leak but the US don't let them because of their so called law system.

Posts: 5726 | From: Philadelphia, Pa [home of the SS United States] | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
PamM
Cruise Director
Member # 2127

posted 06-14-2010 09:23 AM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by desirod7:
Jochen, can you elaborate?

There is plenty in the news about the Belgian and Dutch firms with the equipment and know-how to deal with the problem, but their offers [made at the outset] of assistance have been turned down. Perhaps this does not make the news in the US. The US does not have this specialised equipment as according to the news reports it is apparently too costly to build/man under the Jones Act.

Pam


Posts: 12176 | From: Cambridge, UK | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Linerrich
First Class Passenger
Member # 4864

posted 06-14-2010 10:21 AM      Profile for Linerrich   Email Linerrich   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by PamM:

There is plenty in the news about the Belgian and Dutch firms with the equipment and know-how to deal with the problem, but their offers [made at the outset] of assistance have been turned down. Perhaps this does not make the news in the US.
Pam


You're right, Pam, this aspect of the story is not well-covered in the American media, and we're kept in the dark about it. In fact, during an internet search for more info, almost all of the articles I'm finding are from news sources outside the US.

There is a lot of nationalistic pride in American know-how, but it seems that in this crisis we need to swallow that pride and accept help from the best possible source. There's too much bullying of BP, basically saying "Get it fixed or we'll do it ourselves!" Good luck with that!

Rich


Posts: 4210 | From: Miami, FL | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
dmwnc1
Cruise Director
Member # 3785

posted 06-14-2010 10:22 AM      Profile for dmwnc1   Email dmwnc1   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that the offers of help were declined in the onset of the disaster because after BP deployed an ROV to the site to assess whether oil was flowing from the well, reportedly found no oil leaking from the sunken rig and no oil flowing from the well. BP CEO Tony Hayward also initially downplayed the incident saying the amount of oil spilled was "relatively tiny" in comparison with the "very big ocean." The denial of the magnitude went on for weeks as the well at the bottom of the ocean spewed a million gallons a day of oil into the gulf.

It was not the US's responsibility to clean the mess up. It was, and is, BP's. Maybe all of these companies with the know how should go to BP and teach them how to clean up their mess.


Posts: 5650 | From: Clarksburg WV | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
PamM
Cruise Director
Member # 2127

posted 06-14-2010 10:45 AM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BP's hands are as tied by the US Authorities as anyone else's. Flanders Today is worth a read. 'Saving Face', red tape, politcal mumbo jumbo and protection of US jobs in such a situation imho should not come into it, no-one cares that the US does not have the best equipment. Just accept the offer and get on with it.

Pam

[ 06-14-2010: Message edited by: PamM ]


Posts: 12176 | From: Cambridge, UK | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
desirod7
First Class Passenger
Member # 1626

posted 06-14-2010 12:17 PM      Profile for desirod7     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sounds like the Normandie disaster. Yourkevitch[sp] who designed the ship wanted to go in and open the sea cocks so she would ground and the ship would have been saved. The Admiral told him to shut up, this is a Navy job.

I think Obama should render an executive order suspending the Jones Act in this case.

quote:
Originally posted by PamM:
BP's hands are as tied by the US Authorities as anyone else's. Flanders Today is worth a read. 'Saving Face', red tape, politcal mumbo jumbo and protection of US jobs in such a situation imho should not come into it, no-one cares that the US does not have the best equipment. Just accept the offer and get on with it.

Pam

[ 06-14-2010: Message edited by: PamM ]



Posts: 5726 | From: Philadelphia, Pa [home of the SS United States] | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Frosty 4
First Class Passenger
Member # 5826

posted 06-14-2010 12:27 PM      Profile for Frosty 4   Email Frosty 4   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Obama has said "Get your act together or else" in so many words. Yea ,right!!!
Let's dump the Jones Act for now. Never should apply to cruise ships as well.
It's politics that keeps it in play.
The unions that protect the long shore men have the means to play this game.$$$$$.
F4

Posts: 2531 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 06-14-2010 06:11 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I see lots of finger pointing and boycotting of BP, but I don't see many American's willing to diminish their dependance on oil, which is why we are in this predicament to begin with. The US is 4.53% of the world's population, yet we use 20% of the world's oil. The US has less than 2% of the world's oil reserves, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the disparity.

Right now the oil companies are the "bad guys", yet each and every one of us needs these bad guys to maintain the standard of living we enjoy today. The oil companies are simply providing a service that the US and other nations are starving for. It's like a heroin addiction, you know it's not good for you or the environment but you gotta have more.

Because of our addiction to oil, the oil companies are forced to seek out new opportunities in areas that are more fragile and delicate to the environment. This means drilling at a depth of 5000 feet below sea level and then up to another 30,000 feet below the ocean floor. Doesn't that alone sound alarming? Perhaps we should have all paid more attention when these types of excavations were developed. Of course no one does until a disaster happens then the blame game begins.

Could BP have handled this better? Most likely. This being said I don't know if any other oil company would have? Exxon has easily survived the Valdez disaster to become one of the most profitable companies in the world. No doubt BP will survive this as well and will thrive. People tend to quickly forget and the end result is that no real change happens. If you want the oil to live life like you do today, than these environmental disasters every now and then are simply going to have to be an accepted risk.

Frankly I'm not sure what magnitude of a disaster it will take to convince people we must take more drastic measures to reduce our dependance on oil. I know one thing, it's not going to be this latest spill. I see very few people actually focused on or even acknowledging the bigger issue at hand.

Ernie

[ 06-14-2010: Message edited by: eroller ]


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Cunardcoll
First Class Passenger
Member # 1226

posted 06-14-2010 07:02 PM      Profile for Cunardcoll   Author's Homepage   Email Cunardcoll   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
All I know is that if they allow the belgian dredgers , the leak will be sealed and the oil will be pumped into a ship , also with the help of a dutch specialised company of wich I don't remember the name the oil on land and even on animals could be cleaned up in a matter of weeks.

USA , STOP THE BULLSHIT AND GET IT DONE !!!


Posts: 944 | From: Belgium | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 06-14-2010 07:10 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cunardcoll:
All I know is that if they allow the belgian dredgers , the leak will be sealed and the oil will be pumped into a ship , also with the help of a dutch specialised company of wich I don't remember the name the oil on land and even on animals could be cleaned up in a matter of weeks.

USA , STOP THE BULLSHIT AND GET IT DONE !!!



Something tells me it's not so simple. Regardless of the Jones Act, if the American people were assured this spill could be contained so easily and it was not being done immediately, there would be absolute outrage. The news media has been covering this from every angle. If a Belgian company could have this fixed tomorrow, I'm quite certain they would be reporting on it.

Ernie


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged

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