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A Meteorological quandry, and the BP Spill.

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posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 01:48 AM
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we are a few weeks into hurricane season now, and the NHC has given pretty daunting predictions for this year.



The conditions expected this year have historically produced some very active Atlantic hurricane seasons. The 2010 hurricane season could see activity comparable to a number of extremely active seasons since 1995. If the 2010 activity reaches the upper end of our predicted ranges, it will be one of the most active seasons on record.

We estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity this season:

14-23 Named Storms,
8-14 Hurricanes
3-7 Major Hurricanes
An ACE range of 155%-270% of the median.


Now add on the additional factor of a large portion of the Gulf covered in an oil slick/sheen and things get a little interesting.

I am not trying to argue the acid/oil rain issue. While the scenarios for such is possble, i am trying to shed a light on another disaster waiting to happen. One that is not only possible, but is likely, and is something that the effected areas will DEFINATELY not be ready for, as well as something that we have never had to model for in our history. Ever.


Issue one
Hurricanes thrive on the latent thermal energy that is stored in the ocean water surface. The warmer the water temperatures, the greater potential for magor hurricane development.(while this is not the only factor, it is the most important, and has the most to do with the following discussion). Water has a much higher specific heat than land mass, approximately 4 and some change times so, and allows for a large amount of energy to be stored. That is that it requires more energy to increase an equal volume of water one degree in temperature than it does land, and that energy is stored.

Interestingly enough, water has about 2 times the specific heat of fuel oil. What does this mean? well it means that the suns energy will increase the temperaure of the oil that is floating in the Gulf at about twice the rate of the surrounding water. This will help to increase sea surface temperatures in the surrounding water through conduction, and it will also cause a large area of greater sea surface temperatures because of the nature of the oil itself, which could potentially result in intensification of any disturbance/storm that encounters it.

Scientists have never really had to deal with this before, and the most interesting part is this oil is laying on top of the water, it does not completely remove the moisture source from any future storms, although it may hinder it. This could weaken any disturbance/storm that passes over.

Scientists cannot say with any certainty which will be the dominant factor. At this time the slick itelf is close enough to the shore that any passing storm would likely spend a relatively short time over the area, thus reducing any influence. Should the slick continue to spread, the larger the area the greater the potential influence. Worst case scenario is that the moisture is unihibited, and the increased temperatures strengthens any storms, increasing the threat to coastal residents.

Issue two
This is the greatest threat that I could see when combining a tropical storm and the oil slick is the storm surge. This happens when strong continuous winds pile water on top of water to create a "mound" of water that plows into the coast, increasing water levels and flooding low lying areas.

It is not a stretch of the imagination to think of what would happen with a storm surge coated in oil that crawls inland. The water below will recede... the oil will remain and could potentially coat stuffs much farther inland than a simple "washing up" or tidal surges.

Imagine trying to clean 20-40 miles of coastline, up to a half mile inland with oil coating EVERYTHING. Houses, cars, road ways, grass, trees... you name it. We are all crying about how to pick up the tar balls and save the fish/birds, try to get oil out of soil, and housing materials. It could render enormous amounts of land unusable and or unsafe.


I would like to ask you to comment and or ponder this potential disaster waiting to happen. If our government cannot even act to stop this leak, how are we to expect them to protect us from a literal wave of oil washing much further inland than the beach?? 30 years or more of contamination, but this time in our forests and farmlands... Enjoy.


(Edit for dumb spelling and grammar issues... its morning time...)

[edit on 24-6-2010 by wx4caster]




posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 01:58 AM
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Just a point, but the increase in rough seas should hasten the degradation of the oil. In that way it will help.

Regards



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by wx4caster
 


The oil leak would only be one of the problems if a major storm enters the Gulf. Maybe time for me to leave the Gulf Coast for a few years. As much as I love this place I fear it will not be the same for several years to come.




posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:05 AM
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Rougher seas will increase the mixed layer depth and will cause the oil to be pushed downward, that is in a chaotic sea.

With a tropical at sea, the swell waves are generally long periods with deep troughs which would "pool" the oil in the troughs.

Thats my oppinion anyway, to be honest we really are not sure how it would react.

(more dern spelling errors... SO TIRED)

[edit on 24-6-2010 by wx4caster]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:21 AM
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Exactly what I have been saying for the most part!!!

Some people are under the impression that we are going to have clouds of oil, raining down oil. Ive been saying for a while that this will not happen. The oil has a much higher evaporation point than sea water, it simply will not be evaporated like water is, and it wont feed into hurricane storm systems like it normally would

S & F



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:23 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 


Exactly, the only way i could see that happening is if there was a MAGOR storm with wind speeds high enough to aspirate the oil into small enough particles that it could become airborn.

Evaporation = no.

we would be boiling seas at that point



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:29 AM
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I would move out if i was them seriously



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:30 AM
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reply to post by wx4caster
 


Yeah that was my argument, lol

If it does get mixed through waves from the hurricane, I could see micro particles being mixed in, but it will only be in trace amounts I would suspect



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 03:59 AM
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i live on the west coast of florida, right on the water near tampa. my biggest fear is that a storm will spread the oil at a faster rate, and if the flood water is contaminated with oil, it would be devistating. i helped clean up after katrina in mississippi, one house had a hanging bowl lamp, about 12 feet off the floor, (three miles away from the coast) and it was filled with water from the flood. if everything were covered in oil, no one would have stayed, the mess would have been uncleanable.

imagine a bowl half filled with beer, with foam on the top, if you tipped the bowl to the side, and let the beer run up the side aways, then back down, there would still be a foamy residue left, now picture that on all coastal areas with oily flood waters. sad day, the only reason anyone would come to crystal river in the first place is because of manatees and fishing.

i'm not sure that oil rain is possible, but i'm more afraid of wind bringing oil and high tides.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 04:59 AM
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Just one point, a storm surge is due to low atmospheric pressure, not water being piled upon water. The lower pressure allows a bulge to form on the surface relative to other areas of higher pressure.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:03 AM
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The oil will become aerosolized into tiny droplets by the very high winds near the center of the storm. The aerosolized oil particles will travel with the system and be dropped on land as the wind speeds decrease.

Hurricanes pick up all kinds of crud and spew it all over the place. I don't see why oil can't be picked up by high winds, transported inland, and dropped. No evaporation needed.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by who-me?
Just one point, a storm surge is due to low atmospheric pressure, not water being piled upon water. The lower pressure allows a bulge to form on the surface relative to other areas of higher pressure.


That is incorrect. it is water being piled from winds. The pressure drop is not signifficant enough to cause a large increase in sea level. There is a slight "pressure bulge" but again, that is not what causes all the flooding.

Informative information here



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 12:49 AM
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Does all this take into account the dispersants? I've heard it makes this oil a whole new animal.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 03:45 AM
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Originally posted by mike_trivisonno
The oil will become aerosolized into tiny droplets by the very high winds near the center of the storm. The aerosolized oil particles will travel with the system and be dropped on land as the wind speeds decrease.

Hurricanes pick up all kinds of crud and spew it all over the place. I don't see why oil can't be picked up by high winds, transported inland, and dropped. No evaporation needed.


My concern is inhalation of the droplets and effects caused by it. Second line.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 


You say some people are under the impression....well let me point out you are obviously under the impression that this stuff is 10w-30 or axle grease and are not aware that this crude contains everything from axle grease to ether in it and are you not aware that it has gasoline in it? Does gasoline not evaporate under night-time cool conditions, under almost any summer-time conditions? Of course it does, so does the butane, pentane, hexane, ether and diesel that is in it and no it does not have to be cracked to be made into these things, they are there in abundance, so when you tell people that the oil won't evaporate, please get your facts straight, it is not oil it is crude and much will evaporate, so the argument over corexit is very valid as it will evaporate also. And to you guys who think that distillation does not take voc's with it, you were too busy smoking something during your chemistry labs, or you just plain did not show up, as for you people who didn't finish your degrees, stop pretending to be chemists you are not, now wake up.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by Bob Sholtz

imagine a bowl half filled with beer, with foam on the top, if you tipped the bowl to the side, and let the beer run up the side aways, then back down, there would still be a foamy residue left, now picture that on all coastal areas with oily flood waters. sad day, the only reason anyone would come to crystal river in the first place is because of manatees and fishing.

This is a disaster people!! PLEASE, for the love of Mike, Don't joke about spilling beer! There's no need to make it worse!

In all seriousness, I get what your saying, the water would basically transport the oil in and then slip out from under it like a pizza paddle.

There, I wrote a story containing pizza and beer elements. (unintentionally btw)



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:35 AM
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And to you guys who think that distillation does not take voc's with it, you were too busy smoking something during your chemistry labs, or you just plain did not show up, as for you people who didn't finish your degrees, stop pretending to be chemists you are not, now wake up.


Okay OZweatherman, I admit it, I didn't finish college, so, could you explain to me how the evaporates will condensate and form precipitation?
I'm serious, I would like to know exactly how that happens. Right now, it just doesn't seem like they would bond with the water molecules, not to mention that the water condensates at a much higher altitude than the heavier-than-air gasses from the crude.




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