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Washington (CNN) -- The damaging effects of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will be felt all the way to Europe and the Arctic, a top scientist told a congressional panel Friday.
Other scientists and researchers -- invited to brief members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- warned that the thousands of barrels of oil still gushing into the Gulf are contributing to a potential ecological disaster of unknown proportions.
The briefing was part of an ongoing effort to draw on a broad range of expertise for what has been, in the eyes of many observers, a frustrating and ineffective cleanup effort.
"This is not just a regional issue for the wildlife," said Carl Safina, the president of the Blue Ocean Institute. Noting common migratory patterns, he warned that multiple forms of marine life from across the Atlantic Ocean "come into the Gulf to breed."
Safina blasted BP, the company in control of the well responsible for the spill.
"I think asking BP for answers is the wrong place to look," he said. "They seem to have cut corners on some critical junctures. We keep asking their permission to go down and measure the oil that's coming out. ... This mystifies me, because they are on our property now."
Safina argued that BP was using the dispersants as a public relations tool, so cameras can't see the extent of the oil slick.
Originally posted by apacheman
The gulf spill will have a global effect.
But while the oil is bad, it is the methane that is the truly bad part. The oil field might have a few million barrels of oil, but what BP was really after is the one TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas in the field. They admit to drawing off 15 million cubic feet a day through their straw. Nobody knows how many millions of cubic feet are going directly into the water each day, but it is likely that over a billion cubic feet have outgassed so far.
You'll find the specifics here:
I don't think that's a viable alternative. Nuking it, is kind of 1950's isn't it?
I mean, come on, in today's day and age, if we can't figure out, collectively, how to cap an oil well, than I have lost all faith in Human Ingenuity.
How much gas is being released?
A BP executive stated that they were removing 3000:1 gas to oil at the well before the explosion. (thats 3000 cubic feet of gas for every barrel of oil) The amount of oil leaking into the gulf is 25,000 to 70,000 barrels.
a 3000:1 ratio would mean 75 - 210 million cubic feet of gas per day being released.
There is 5.64 cubic feet of gas per barrel.
That would mean there is 13.3 to 37.2 million "barrels" of gas being released each day.
(note: this is at standard atmospheric temp and pressure. At the ocean floor and 2,400 pounds per square inch, this gas is compressed by a factor of of over 1000 and will expand as it rises. So, in the video coming out of the pipe it looks like 75,000 to 210,000 barrels of gas per day.
you see, what happens when methane is released into the gulf? It goes into solution. There, in the deep ocean, it oxidizes, stripping the ocean of oxygen and forming carbon dioxide and water.