In the latest sci-fi development from the Gulf oil spill, scientists have found enormous oil "plumes" beneath the ocean's surface.
With this, and last week's underwater footage of oil and natural gas gushing out of the ruptured well, it's apparent that BP's estimate of the amount of oil entering the Gulf each day is at once laughably and horrifyingly low.
Weeks ago, not long after the spill was first verified, BP, the Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the well was leaking 5,000 barrels of oil a day. They based this estimate on analysis of the oil slick at the water's surface. Independent scientists analyzing the slick set the estimate at 25,000 barrels a day, and once BP released the underwater video, they calculated flow rates as high as 80,000 barrels a day.
Depending on the long-term effects the toxic chemicals could have on marine life, the dispersant approach may or may not be worth its environmental risk. But for BP, using the chemicals make perfect sense. They literally subvert the oil's damage, avoiding fouled coastlines in favor of besieged underwater ecosystems. The scientists who discovered the oil plumes found that the plumes were severely depleting oxygen levels, posing a grave risk to sea life: 305 655 3213

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Location: Gulf coast


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