If you want to feel your heart sink, watch the Deepwater oil flow and think of the Real Keys to America's Future

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 22:20.

If you want to feel your heart sink in your chest, consider the forecast above shows the Deepwater oil flow is expected to round Cuba and the tip of Florida and head north into the Atlantic, within a week or so, and think of the Keys to the Future. The current progress of the flow of oil from the Deepwater drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is following the forecast worst case expectations - and the amount of oil being spilled seems to be at the worst case level - and the efforts to stop the leak are nearly at worst case conditions... changing daily. This means Florida is in deep trouble, and oil will be flowing up the Eastern Atlantic coast next week.

Not much has changed since my write-up on this crisis on realNEO, May 5th - the worst possible situation keeps getting worse, as expected -  “Whatever comes will flow west of Dry Tortugas and towards Cuba before it comes back north” - consider where the oil flow was headed back then, and how far we've come since...

How far have we come since? See the latest animation here...

“Filaments of the Loop Current are within tens of kilometers of the oil spill,” said Robert H. Weisberg, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida who has been modeling the movement of the spill. Once the current catches the spill, he said, “the speed of the current is such that it only takes a week before oil will be at entrance of the Florida straits and another week until it gets as far as Miami.… Whether the oil gets into the Florida Bay or the Everglades depends on what local winds are doing when oil is flowing past.”

Weisberg said he could not predict the exact timing.  “But it appears to be imminent," he said. "It looks like it is going to happen sooner rather than later...The Loop Current moves very fast.” As for the oil's trajectory, he said, “Whatever comes will flow west of Dry Tortugas and towards Cuba before it comes back north.” For the oil to get into the vicinity of shallow water in the Florida Bay, Weisberg said, the current "would have to take oil into passes from south to north. It is difficult  to get a lot of oil into the Florida Bay."


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We enter the age of the big oops on a black snake of death

Thank you for providing a link to the most recent charts of what is starting to appear as a black snake of death as it heads into the gulf stream plus your running terse commentary on this unprecendented disaster. What little video I've seen of this incident has been a link provided by Mr. McD on RealNEO a few days ago.

The burning Cuyahoga River and the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969 was a little taste of mass death compared to this. Americans reacted firmly and none other that President Richard Nixon started the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. How are Americans reacting to the recent, and far larger, outrage to the environment? A recent poll has found that a majority of American's said, "Keep drilling." Will other polls concure in this?

Complacency to such a big oops means humans are not far behind in succumbing to this mass death. To some degree humans are complacent to environmental disaster. Ongoing environmental and civil disaster in Nigeria has hardly raised the attention in the U.S. that this black snake has received. If polls concure with the recent one mentioned above, perhaps most humans will have decided that a black snake is the price of progress (as defined in this cockamangy world).

Perhaps it will depend on whose beach is blackened.

calling on Justice Department to open a criminal investigation

A detailed if a bit optimistic update is provided by AP on the PD here today - BP oil spill could glop into Florida Keys, scientists fret - which includes these interesting updates...

-- California Sen. Barbara Boxer and other Democrats are calling on the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation.

-- BP said it has spent $500 million on the spill so far.

If BP has spent $500 million so far, and they probably haven't paid 1/10th the bills incurred already (e.g. for wasting our Coast Guard, killing food and income for the food sector, and for lost tourism so far), and the spill hasn't been nearly stopped, and little oil has been recovered, and the damage has barely begin, and the oil is headed for the Atlantic, and Cuba... how much of BP's $6 billion in 1st Quarter 2010 profits are real.

Who should go to jail for this, thanks to Senator Boxer?

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we are killing ourselves, softly

we are killing ourselves, softly.

i lived in the Keys for 8 years, birthed 2 babies, played with them in those warm waters.

people do not realize how fragile those islands are - and how precious, how important.

Hey Hayward - go fuck yourself:

Tony Hayward, BP CEO: Gulf Oil Spill 'Relatively Tiny'

Tar Balls in Florida Keys, Oil Plumes Raise Fears of Wider Spill

Tar Balls in Florida Keys, Oil Plumes Raise Fears of Wider Spill

Fears are growing that the massive BP oil spill in Louisiana could be entering waters beyond the Gulf of Mexico. The US Coast Guard says it’s discovered twenty tar balls off Key West, Florida—an indication the spill could be caught in a loop current that’s carrying it to the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. Up to 70,000 barrels of oil have been leaking into the Gulf every day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. Meanwhile, on Monday, scientists discussed their findings of enormous plumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico that suggest the spill is wider and more threatening to marine habitat than previously thought. Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi said the oil was found at deep sea levels.

Vernon Asper: "We found some oil just below the surface which is formed into these aggregates that we think are probably settling. We also found oil much, much deeper in the water column. We found layers, or I guess you could call them clouds, of oil that are well down, over 2,000 feet down, in the water column, some of them much lower than that."

MMS Official Steps Down

In other oil spill news, the government official responsible for offshore energy oversight has announced he’s stepping down. Chris Oynes was appointed associate director of the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Program at the Mineral Management Service under the Bush administration. Oynes has come under intense criticism following disclosures his agency exempted BP from a comprehensive environmental review of the project that resulted in the spill.


1st Month Memorial Day for Deepwater Disaster: “seems baffling"

5/20/2010 - 1st Month Memorial Day for Deepwater Disaster. RIP to the crew lost.

Industry and government response has been poor, since the Deepwater Horizon blew-up - too little too late, the NYTimes reports this morning: "Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill"... some highlights:

Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true scope.


“It seems baffling that we don’t know how much oil is being spilled,” Sylvia Earle, a famed oceanographer, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “It seems baffling that we don’t know where the oil is in the water column.”

The administration acknowledges that its scientific resources are stretched by the disaster, but contends that it is moving to get better information, including a more complete picture of the underwater plumes.

“We’re in the early stages of doing that, and we do not have a comprehensive understanding as of yet of where that oil is,” Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator, told Congress on Wednesday. “But we are devoting all possible resources to understanding where the oil is and what its impact might be.”


Oceanographers have also criticized the Obama administration over its reluctance to force BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, to permit an accurate calculation of the flow rate from the undersea well. The company has refused to permit scientists to send equipment to the ocean floor that would establish the rate with high accuracy.

Ian MacDonald of Florida State University, an oceanographer who was among the first to question the official estimate of 210,000 gallons a day, said he had come to the conclusion that the oil company was bent on obstructing any accurate calculation. “They want to hide the body,” he said.


Scientists have long theorized that a shallow spill and a spill in the deep ocean — this one is a mile down — would behave quite differently. A 2003 report by the National Research Council predicted that the oil could break into fine droplets, forming plumes of oil mixed with water that would not quickly rise to the surface.

That prediction appeared to be confirmed Saturday when the researchers aboard the Pelican reported that they had detected immense plumes that they believed were made of oil particles. The results were not final, and came as a surprise to the government. They raise a major concern, that sea life in concentrated areas could be exposed to a heavy load of toxic materials as the plumes drift through the sea.

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spewing at 95,000 barrels of oil, or 4 million gallons, a day

An article in the PD today writes about BP defrauding the global public - Low oil spill estimate could save BP millions, experts say - raising the question who is the greatest terrorist in history?

Washington -- BP's estimate that only 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking daily from a well in the Gulf of Mexico, which the Obama administration hasn't disputed, could save the company millions of dollars in damages when the financial impact of the spill is resolved in court, legal experts say.


Legal experts said that not having a credible official estimate of the leak's size provides another benefit for BP: The amount of oil spilled is certain to be key evidence in the court battles that are likely to result from the disaster.

The size of the spill has become a high-stakes political controversy that has put the Obama administration and the oil company on the defensive. In congressional testimony Wednesday, an engineering professor from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said that based on videos released Tuesday he estimated that the well was spewing at 95,000 barrels of oil, or 4 million gallons, a day into the gulf.

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