Skip to comments.Tropical Storm May Endanger Oil Spill Cleanup (Really? This may be nature cleaning up a mess)
Posted on 06/29/2010 6:28:20 AM PDT by bestintxas
The tropical storm plowing across the Gulf of Mexico could send oil skimmers back to port and make containment booms useless, even from far away. But the rough weather also might give nature a hand in breaking down crude from the massive oil spill.
Waves churned up by Tropical Storm Alex could help break up the patches of oil scattered across the sea, and the higher-than-normal winds that radiate far from the storm could help the crude evaporate faster. Forecasters said Monday they didn't expect the center of Alex to pass near the site of BP's busted well.
"The oil isn't in one solid sheet. It's all broken up into patches anyway. It will actually work to break those patches down," said Piers Chapman, chairman of the oceanography department at Texas A&M University.
Alex could send high winds and rough seas -- perhaps as high as 12 feet -- rippling across the Gulf. Skimming vessels operating far from the storm's center may be idled because they can't operate in such swells. Floating oil-containment booms could be rendered useless by waves slopping over them and may have to be pulled out of the water.
Pulling boats and crews off the water could cost precious time, said Nancy Kinner, co-director of the Coastal Response Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Equipment has to be stripped down, packed and protected from the force of the storm, and then has to be reassembled and deployed again, she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Mother Nature to the rescue.
What’s to say the Obamessiah didn’t cause the winds to rise and cleanse the capitalists’ mistake?
( /extreme sarc)
...they’ve got to stop the leak!...even Clinton now says blow it up...as much as I didn’t like him, he was a lot better than the effete community organizer we have now.
Word around Gulf Shores AL is a storm surge will push the oil onshore (Ivan’s surge came under my mother’s house). Folks are talking about a ‘superfund’ site.
A hurricane won’t clean anything up. It will just push more oil up onto the beach and into the wetlands.
It will be a colossal mess.
Ok, but won't that oil get dumped somewhere else, like on land?
If the EPA gets 'wind' of this they'll issue a cease-and-dissist order against Alex.
don’t believe it.
the wave action and battering winds and rains will disperse the oil and you will never see it again.
i work for an oil company and have seen oil-contaiminated sites cleaned pristine following hurricanes.
this is like seeing a drop of oil in a large swimming pool, then stirring the water up like a large kitchen mixer. the ppm of oil left will be so small it is registered by a number of decimal places.
Yeah, Bill Clinton has impeccable credentials in physics and geology. What, like a PhD or something, right?
“A hurricane wont clean anything up. It will just push more oil up onto the beach and into the wetlands.
It will be a colossal mess”
You must be reading the NOAA website, you know the ones that falsified all the climate data for political purposes.
They are REALLY somebody to believe.
If you picture counterclockwise winds flowing into the partial vacuum of the hurricane eye, they will be from the northeast...drawing everything away from land.
I'm basing this on 34 years experience as a hurricane specialist for a n NBC affiliate in Florida. My first really big hurricane was Camille in 1969.
Thanks for your insight :)
Although the National Hurricane Center is a part of the huge NOAA complex, it runs sans politics. NOAA pretty much lets them do their specialty without interference. NOAA knows not to mess with NHC.
“Since the source of the oil is not finite, as in a ship leaking, but still gushing - how do you think a major hurricane would play out today?
Thanks for your insight :) ‘
With his experience, Capt Norm sounds the best for a dialogue here.
My two bits are
1. the oil is in fact finite in two ways
a. it will eventually be stopped mechanically by the relief well.
b. Like every other oil reservoir in the world known to man, the reservoir it has tapped is only of a certain size and will exhaust its ability to produce over time
I agree with your inference that the well needs to stop flowing in order to get the hurricane to best clean things up.
My comment was a general comment on what high winds and high tides would do. All a hurricane would do is move the oil around, it won’t clean anything up.
Of course the track could move oil from off shore Louisiana to Mexico or Texas. This track would not ‘clean’ up the beaches already contaminated with oil.
If the storm takes a northerly track then it will push more oil up onto the beaches. Again, it won’t clean anything up.
Of course I’m not a weatherman. I do know that if you spill oil on the garage floor it doesn’t help to move it around. You actually have to get down and clean it up.
‘i work for an oil company and have seen oil-contaiminated sites cleaned pristine following hurricanes.”
Did you see the other areas that were previously oil free which were now contaminated?
“the ppm of oil left will be so small it is registered by a number of decimal places.”
So the hurricane will reduce the amount of oil that has been spilled?
“Of course Im not a weatherman. I do know that if you spill oil on the garage floor it doesnt help to move it around. You actually have to get down and clean it up.”
What do you think would happen to say a quart of oil spilt on the floor that say you take a high-pressure sprayer and drill it with say 10,000 gallons of water over the course of several days?
Think you could ever find it again on the floor(or anywhere?)
It will move the oil around and blend it into an emulsion which will help dissipate it.
Although there's a lot of oil, when it's thinned out by blending it into 600 quadrillion gallons of Gulf sea water, you'd be hard pressed to find it.
Those high winds and seas literally scour coastal areas and even blend a lot of fine sand into the sea water making it look milky for several days after passage.
Fishermen used to take advantage of this as sight-feeder fish can't feed normally while the water is cloudy and thus get very hungry when it clears. That's when you get record-setting catches for a few days.
Is there any data as to the extent to which a tropical storm will oxygenate the surface water of the Gulf?
‘It will move the oil around and blend it into an emulsion which will help dissipate it.”
Perhaps it will do that in some places. In others it will simply push the oil up into the wetlands and into peoples homes.
“Although there’s a lot of oil, when it’s thinned out by blending it into 600 quadrillion gallons of Gulf sea water”
Except you’re not blending it or thinning it with 600 quadrillion gallons of sea water.
“Those high winds and seas literally scour coastal areas and even blend a lot of fine sand into the sea water making it look milky for several days after passage.”
Having lived through hurricanes and not just watched them on TV I am quite familiar with what they do.
They aren’t a majic dustbuster or margarita blender.
What about the miles and miles of oil 2000 - 4000 feet down?
“Did you see the other areas that were previously oil free which were now contaminated?”
Not sure what the implication is here. Right now, we have “surges” of oil washing onshore that appear in fairly highly-concentrations. when a storm comes in, there will be high winds, high waves and lots and lots of rain, all of which will cause this oil to, in your words “contaminate” much larger areas. However, the oil will be dispersed in such low ppm(parts per million) that it will be effectively immaterial to concern oneself with.
“So the hurricane will reduce the amount of oil that has been spilled?”
once again, the oil exists in bands that are concentrated. if mixed up with multitudes of water, this will no longer be the case. the ppm will be extremely small. No one ever said oil disappears, it is just dispersed until it effectively is immaterial to worry about.
Did you know that there are acceptable levels of contaminants allowed in the water you drink?http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html
‘However, the oil will be dispersed in such low ppm(parts per million) that it will be effectively immaterial to concern oneself with.”
really? I’m sure you have some science to base that on.
“Did you know that there are acceptable levels of contaminants allowed in the water you drink?”
STUPIDIST idea EVER that a hurricane will help this situation.
Well, as someone who has surfed the Gulf Coast for 40 years I say you are wrong about washing every thing clean. Did you see Surfside Beach after hurricane Ike? It tore that place apart. And even if the hit is not direct, this hurricane Alex is going to deliver the dirty side of the storm to Texas. That means strong ENE winds blowing straight from the oil well spill to the Texas Coast. And just because oil is under layers of sand and you can't see it doesn't mean it's "clean!"
As for Louisiana the higher tides will just push the oil further up into the marshes along the delta killing even more wildlife and ruining fisheries.
“Im sure you have some science to base that on.”
Being an engineer, more science than appears in the referenced article.
And the practical experience to have lived outside Galveston during Carla in 1961 and seen what can really happen during a hurricane. Ike was nothing compared to that one.
And yet that is EXACTLY what they do.
In 34 years as a hurricane specialist (worked direct hits from Camille, Agnes, Eloise, Elena, Kate, Erin and Opal) I have watched it happen again and again.
We're not talking theory here...I spent too much time on the front lines for that.
When you watch those seas pounding everything in their path, the effect is the same as a huge mixer.
All low pressure systems are natures mixers to some extent and hurricanes are especially so...and as I said, they can and do emulsify and many cases the produce a colloidal suspension with materials that don't dissolve in sea water (sand was my example and it's a heck of a lot harder to get it into a suspension than oil.)
I've spent time with former NHC directors Neil Frank and Bob Sheets observing this very thing after hurricane passage back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's.
Look into a mixing bowl or blender while it is running and in the center you will see a vortex. A hurricane IS a vortex of massive proportion and works in the same way.
an engineer for the oil industry right?
stop the leak and then I’ll listen.
‘In 34 years as a hurricane specialist (worked direct hits from Camille, Agnes, Eloise, Elena, Kate, Erin and Opal) I have watched it happen again and again.”
So you’re one of those that can’t tell us where they are going or how bad they are going to be. Or one of those that tells us there’s gonna be 23 storms and then we have 0.
And yet my record is 100% on the storm tracks that directly affected my area..and that can be verified. If you know anyone who lived in Panama City, FL. pre-2002, ask them.
Predicting how many storms will occur is work for a fortune-teller or crystal ball gazer and is totally unrelated to the real work of dealing with hurricanes.
“Predicting how many storms will occur is work for a fortune-teller or crystal ball gazer and is totally unrelated to the real work of dealing with hurricanes.”
Just as predicting the that the oil will be emulsified by a storm is completely unrelated to “the real work of dealing with hurricanes”.
It is far far more likely that vast amounts of the oil would be pushed onshore and into peoples homes and wetlands.
Believe me, wish I could.
In meantime, hope you are not tone-deaf to data.
I’d ignore driftdriver, capt norm.
He’s already admitted he will not listen.
And your expertise in this area based on what?
Is this a "someone said", "I read it somewhere", "the news media said so" or did you come up with it on your own?
Either way you're talking waaayyy over your head dude.
I base that on the fact that you don't seem to pick up on any real data but instead depend on preconceived notions that sound good to you...kinda' like the news media does.
I'm wasting my time...I'd do better trying to explain this to my parakeet...at least he is capable of listening.
Thanks to both of you for your understandable replies. What you say makes sense to me.
yep just as I thought. you are talking out your wazzu
Anyone who thinks a hurricane improves the gulf spill situation should be locked up in an insane asylum.
“Hes already admitted he will not listen.’
As opposed to the idea that mixing something will reduce the amount of contamination. there ya go, thats a winner ding ding ding
Thank you for the kind words.
Er... um.. Oil sticks to what ever it touches. There is going to be oil all over everything. This strikes me as making a bigger mess. It doesn’t just disappear. It will contaminate thousands of square miles. Hopefully only lightly, but it will still make a big mess in some areas.
This thread gets infested with his types, like roaches coming out for snacking.
Your tagline explains much.