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SUMMERLAND KEY, FL (July 19, 2010) – An underwater robot that can detect the first signs of undersea oil plumes was launched off the Florida Keys today in an effort to better track the movement of oil plumes and to help protect the Florida Keys against possible impacts from the Gulf oil disaster. The Mote Marine Laboratory robot is nicknamed Waldo and its mission to enhance current oil tracking research was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Oceana.
"They occur naturally, associated with oil seeps or in some cases around high (sea) traffic areas where there are cruise ships and things like that," he explained.
They usually go unnoticed, but with the spill in the gulf, public awareness is heightened. Labs are testing to see if the tar balls are connected.
well at least in this gloomy scenario that is good news...
Dr. Stephen Davis is worried about the oil still coming out of the ruptured well. "The rate in which its leaking is underestimated and has been from the start." He said evidence is that its leaking at a rate of 5,000 barrels a day is low. He said the widespread use of dispersants "has masked" the oil that would otherwise accumulate on the surface of the gulf.
Scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico, the first clear indication that the unprecedented use of dispersants in the BP oil spill has broken up the oil into toxic droplets so tiny that they can easily enter the foodchain.
Marine biologists started finding orange blobs under the translucent shells of crab larvae in May, and have continued to find them "in almost all" of the larvae they collect, all the way from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Fla. -- more than 300 miles of coastline -- said Harriet Perry, a biologist with the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
And now, a team of researchers from Tulane University using infrared spectrometry to determine the chemical makeup of the blobs has detected the signature for Corexit, the dispersant BP used so widely in the Deepwater Horizon
In part due to the1.8 million gallons of dispersant that BP used, a lot of the estimated 200 million or more gallons of oil that spewed out of the blown well remains under the surface of the Gulf in plumes of tiny toxic droplets. And it's short- and long-term effects could be profound.
Originally posted by SimplyGord
"The solution to pollution is dilution". Supposedly an oil man's maxim.