Gulf oil slick on the surface is only the tip of the iceberg

Giant plumes of oil are forming beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico as hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil per day continue to spill into the waters, according to a story published Saturday in the New York Times.

Estimates of the rate of spillage from BP and the federal government have been based on the size, as viewed from above. But now that scientists are finally getting a look at videos of the main pipe opening and have found these giant plumes – one 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick – it is believed the flow rates are grossly underestimated.

But BP doesn’t want scientists involved who might be able to get a more accurate reading on the rate of flow.

From the New York Times piece –

“” “”

“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”

“” “”

Translation – BP doesn’t want the public to learn more about the extent of this tragedy.

The concern from scientists is the possibility that the giant plumes of oil could deplete oxygen levels to a point where dead zones are created. This could add another layer of concern for the marine wildlife in the Gulf, on top of what is already unfolding.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m looking at this too much with my environmental goggles on, but it seems to me that when compared to other stories on this level of catastrophe, the national media is underreporting on this one. The story is not getting the attention it needs.

On the upside, there are a lot of great people on the ground and in the water working diligently to help the wildlife, clean up the mess and hold back the damage as much as humanly possible.

In the video, Defenders of Wildlife staffers are donating hair to be used as absorbent material. –

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