Saturday, July 17, 2010

WHY OBAMA IS BEING VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT HERALDING THE CORKING OF THE GULF GUSHER

Gulf spill approaching loop current

First of all, we really don't know if the well will hold its integrity or spring new leaks under pressure. Nor do we know if the relief well drilling will succeed.

Second, The New Republic reports:

There's a lot of crude bobbing along in the Gulf right now: Scientists estimate that between 92 million and 182 million gallons have gushed out into the ocean since the Deepwater Horizon platform first blew up back in April. BP is still using dispersants to break up the oil and send it down to the sea floor, even though no one quite knows how the chemicals might affect marine life in the area. And note that oil's still washing ashore, and Bobby Jindal's artificial "barrier islands," which were supposed to protect Louisiana, are now crumbling.

Finally,

The Envisat satellite image (above) shows the Straits of Florida, the area where the Loop Current flows eastward out of the Gulf of Mexico before joining the Gulf Stream and flowing along the eastern coastlines of the US and Newfoundland (not visible).

Scientists are monitoring this area closely as concerns emerge that winds could blow the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico (visible west of Florida) south toward the Loop Current or that the current could expand north towards the spill.

If oil from the spill were to enter the Loop Current, it could be carried to the Florida Keys (the curved archipelago of islands and associated coral reefs off the tip of Florida) and continue east into the Gulf Stream.

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