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Gulf Oil Spill: Where Has the Oil Gone?

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, destruction, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, oceans, politics, pollution, protection, Sustainabililty, water, wildlife )

- 3280 days ago -
"Superficially, everything is going to look fine and within a couple of years we'll be back to normal shrimp catches, but we will have certain species on which this will have had a catastrophic effect and that will be a long time in recovery,"


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Kit B (276)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 11:29 am
So if it is not on the surface, not immediately visible - then poof! It's gone, all problems solved, nothing more to worry about, unless of course you consider what is not seen from the surface, what is and will be affecting life in the Gulf of Mexico for years to come. But hey, what ya can't see can't hurt ya...Right?

Gail Lopez (65)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 4:09 pm
Oil detection? I thought that's what exploratory drilling was. Hey, wait a minute, we don't have to drill anymore. We can just filter the ocean and marshes and rivers and and and we'll find all the oil we need and everything will be cleaned in the meanwhile.

Barbara D (70)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 4:25 pm
The oil is speading far and wide, and the damage will last for years. See for example:

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 4:50 pm
Noted. Maybe all the bacteria will eat so much oil they will become sea monsters...and we can kill them...and then suck all the oil out of them!...just like big oil and other big corporations are sucking.....

Jo Hofreiter (20)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 11:54 pm
Just like Kit B. wrote, oil just doesn't disappear, it's somewhere and also the chemicals to rid us of it, there also lies another problem.
I'd be very, very careful before eating any seafood.

take care,

Alicia V (181)
Thursday July 29, 2010, 11:59 pm
Squeeky clean, pristine waters and land? Well, this disaster as many to come if we don't stop the Oil Program, will be the World's Finalle. Are we really ready for a change? Let's just do it and make them stop period. Of course drilling is out of the question.

Ben O (129)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:12 am
Environmental Impact of Oil Spills; Impact on the Ocean.
Oil wastes that enter the ocean come from many sources, some being accidental spills or leaks, and some being the results of chronic and careless habits in the use of oil and oil products. Most waste oil in the ocean consists of oily stormwater drainage from cities and farms, untreated waste disposal from factories and industrial facilities, and unregulated recreational boating.

It is estimated that approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year,
(Un-fecking-believable!!!, my comment)

With over half coming from land drainage and waste disposal; for example, from the improper disposal of used motor oil. Offshore drilling and production operations and spills or leaks from ships or tankers typically contribute less than 8 percent of the total. The remainder comes from routine maintenance of ships (nearly 20 percent), hydrocarbon particles from onshore air pollution (about 13 percent), and natural seepage from the seafloor (over 8 percent).

Nota Bene:
Over half the ocean's waste oil comes from land-based sources and from unregulated recreational boating.

Oil Spill Behavior
When oil is spilled in the ocean, it initially spreads in the water (primarily on the surface), depending on its relative density and composition. The oil slick formed may remain cohesive, or may break up in the case of rough seas. Waves, water currents, and wind force the oil slick to drift over large areas, impacting the open ocean, coastal areas, and marine and terrestrial habitats in the path of the drift.

Oil that contains volatile organic compounds partially evaporates, losing between 20 and 40 percent of its mass and becoming denser and more viscous (i.e., more resistant to flow). A small percentage of oil may dissolve in the water. The oil residue also can disperse almost invisibly in the water or form a thick mousse with the water. Part of the oil waste may sink with suspended particulate matter, and the remainder eventually congeals into sticky tar balls. Over time, oil waste weathers (deteriorates) and disintegrates by means of photolysis (decomposition by sunlight) and biodegradation (decomposition due to microorganisms). The rate of biodegradation depends on the availability of nutrients, oxygen, and microorganisms, as well as temperature.

Efforts to remove the oil and clean, decontaminate, and remediate an oil-impacted shoreline may make the area more visibly attractive, but may be more harmful than helpful in terms of actual recovery...
Source: (Water Encyclopedia, Sience and Issues)

ron ace (2)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:13 am
They're never gone. They're just hiding in places which are not visible to the human eye. We really have to be careful in consuming any seafoods now. And we should also start contributing in preserving our one and only mother earth. Thanks.

Mandy M (13)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:27 am
Noted, thank you Kit.

Ben O (129)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:34 am
Some info on sHELL:
Gulf Spill Just A Drop In The Bucket Compared To What Happens Every Day, Everywhere Else.
John Vidal of the Guardian writes of an oil spill in Nigeria a few years ago, touring the disaster:

Forest and farmland were now covered in a sheen of greasy oil. Drinking wells were polluted and people were distraught. No one knew how much oil had leaked. "We lost our nets, huts and fishing pots," said Chief Promise, village leader of Otuegwe and our guide. "This is where we fished and farmed. We have lost our forest. We told Shell of the spill within days, but they did nothing for six months."
In fact, in Nigeria it happens all the time, dumping far more oil than the Deepwater Horizon has. Every single year. The WWF estimates that 1,500,000 tonnes have been spilled, more than 50 Exxon Valdez tankerloads. But hey, it is over there, not here.
The scale of the pollution is mind-boggling. The government's national oil spill detection and response agency (Nosdra) says that between 1976 and 1996 alone, more than 2.4m barrels contaminated the environment.....With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. Life expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations. Locals blame the oil that pollutes their land and can scarcely believe the contrast with the steps taken by BP and the US government to try to stop the Gulf oil leak and to protect the Louisiana shoreline from pollution....

Val B. (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:54 am
I don't understand,how can a oil company not have a plan to stop the pipe if it brakes?

Val B. (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 1:00 am
Why is the president being blamed for this? He disagreed with off shore drilling.

Kerrie G (116)
Friday July 30, 2010, 1:03 am
Noted, thanks.

Mary S (1)
Friday July 30, 2010, 4:45 am
Please, don't start beleiving BP's spin on nothing happened and we don't have to spend the money on cleanup, can put it back into profits. No oil compnay has cleaned up their mess completely, or have they paid the people/country promised. Alaska, Columbia, Niger, etc. They just have good PR departments and LOTS of high priced lawyers.

JustaHuman Here (53)
Friday July 30, 2010, 4:58 am
Evil oil. Just does not want to show up. Ever heared that water is flowing?

Sarah Battle (9)
Friday July 30, 2010, 5:01 am
Thanks for the info!

Terry B (649)
Friday July 30, 2010, 5:24 am
Uhh -- how much did you drive today? 98% of us are to blame.

Julie van Niekerk (230)
Friday July 30, 2010, 6:02 am
Dumped in the woods. The Oil Saga - well covered story and a planet well oiled.

Melissah C (389)
Friday July 30, 2010, 6:04 am
This whole thing is just terrible.

Magdalena M (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 6:47 am
Living horror. I don't drive. Either walk or use city transit.

Lynn Marie M (22)
Friday July 30, 2010, 7:11 am
This is just horrific.

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday July 30, 2010, 7:12 am
It's on the gulf floor poisoning the ecosystem forever. But, out of sight, out of mind, no more problem. Oil corporations and bought off government disgusts me to no end.

Kit B (276)
Friday July 30, 2010, 8:15 am
So far a good discussion with most aware that neither BP or any Oil company is really held accountable for the ecological disasters that they assualt us with. Now why in hell aren't we demanding that we change this system? Alternative fuels are being developed every day, and other countries are using them - I do exclued Nuclear, and food based fuels. From solar to wind, lab grown alge and the list grows. Do we really care if the oil jobs become jobs in sustainable energy? We are complaining even learning tiny lessons, but what will be enough?

mr Crowley (23)
Friday July 30, 2010, 9:58 am
very interesting, thanks!

Henah P (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 10:14 am
That's so sad and depressing.. .We can't let this happen!!

Alicia V (181)
Friday July 30, 2010, 11:00 am
So, are going to clean up our act in every level?
Ben O really put reality on the table with links included, most of it we've been oblivious and very comfortable in our homes and happily ever after, the situation nowadays trespasses the valley of the cute and how are we going to stop them from selling us what they want to sell us, this must stop expediently and the saddest is that we don't get news when it happens to other people, we don't know, or at least I don't hear it, the second Ben O's link is horrible too but, it happened last Monday again in Michigan at Kalamazoo County, an oil pipe sprug into a creek 800.000gallons and went down the Kalamazoo River, anyway the links if you are interested are:


YouTube-Evacuations begin at Oil Spill site in Michigan

Well, another one plus what we make them produce, making us waste. Horrible panorama.

Kit B (276)
Friday July 30, 2010, 11:40 am
There is a lot of information out there that is factual, you need only spend some time looking for facts. Thanks Ben!

. (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 11:42 am
Doesn't everything look good on the surface, since this is only a thorn in this administrations side, of course they are feeding lies!! Look deeper, don't believe anything they say!!!

Alet Coetzee (59)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:23 pm
Noted thanks.

Lisa Koehl (58)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:35 pm
I am so deeply distrubed and upsey by this disgusting disaster :( :(

Juan Pablo d (5)
Friday July 30, 2010, 12:58 pm
How sad...

Brenda Polacca (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 1:02 pm
Why are they afraid to show us beneath the surface where all of that toxic oil dispersent mix is lurking and killing everything in sight? Do they reallly think we're all that naive??

diane n. (6)
Friday July 30, 2010, 1:11 pm

Friday July 30, 2010, 1:15 pm
Noted....where has all the oil gone? Down the gullets of wildlife.

Maryl R (1)
Friday July 30, 2010, 1:48 pm
Well it didn't just disapear, its out there somewhere and needs to be found and cleaned up.

Teresa K (33)
Friday July 30, 2010, 4:23 pm
Noted thanks.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Friday July 30, 2010, 4:59 pm
Thanks Kit--good post, good discussion. I particularly liked what Ben reported.

Ron Avila (20)
Friday July 30, 2010, 5:33 pm
I believe the worst is yet to come.

Patricia C (96)
Friday July 30, 2010, 5:35 pm
The dispersants mixed with the oil are a toxic mess that many just don't want to face, obviously. What is happening to the marine life is painful to imagine. Thanks Kit, and Ben, for reminding us to fight.

Catrina Velez (46)
Friday July 30, 2010, 6:29 pm
If that oil really is not there, then why are so many Gulf waters sharks rounding the coast off Yucutan? Like mammals fleeing a forest fire, they know they have to run, or else! "Out of sight, out of mind" is a dangerous human conceit. When they start swimming the other way, then I'll believe the BP shills.

Aletta Kraan (146)
Friday July 30, 2010, 6:46 pm
Noted , thanks ,just wonder what comes next !!!

Past Member (0)
Friday July 30, 2010, 7:37 pm
Please remember to click to donate! Just go to my care2 (at the top right), my click to donate, and help animals and people all over the world for free! It only takes a few seconds.

Linda G (187)
Friday July 30, 2010, 9:04 pm
I was reading today that the dispersants have made the spill so much more toxic and I believe the oil companies use them solely to make it seem like the oil is gone. (Even though they say it breaks it up so bacteria can eat it... but those bacteria use up the ozygen in the ocean, creating death for other creatures due to the lack of oxygen that they need.) But the oil is not gone, and tests have shown that beaches that may look clean are toxic from the dispersants and the dispersed oil. And we have no idea of the long term effects on marine and bird life. I am so angry that we continue to pollute for profit and "ease of living".
But while I have been calling for a switch to alternate energy sources, I was recently made aware of how many products come from oil..., plastics, eyeglasses and contact lenses, computers, toothpaste tubes, just zillions of things that I hadn't been aware of. We have a tough battle ahead to replace not only energy with clean technology but also find ways to replace oil in other products. Lots of work ahead but if we all strive to conquer oil, we will prevail, hopefully before it's too late for our poor polluted planet.

Bob E (113)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 4:22 am
Yeah… the surface oil is going away…
We don’t know what is happening at deeper depths… is there oil?
The dispersant… many argued that it was the wrong one…
We will not know for a long time the real effect of the oil in the Gulf…
Guess what? Some will never care or see the truth anyway…

By the way…
Louisiana was already a VERY HEAVILY POLLUTED state…
The Mississippi River throws pesticides, fertilizers and poisons into the Gulf…
The oil industry is making Louisiana a completely bio-hazardous zone….
Louisiana has been losing wetlands and mashes for years…
Indeed: Louisiana’s footprint has been very toxic for a long time...

Barb M (3)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 5:02 am
i just cant believe soooooooooooooooo many are ready to move on and now its all ok............. that is scaring me more than bp and thad allen trying to get away with all these lies. we will believe anything as long aws our lives can continue as if nothing happened. because right now they are telling us what we collectively seem to want to hear. i have never witnessed human dumbing down right before my eyes before and its scaring me. how in the world can anyone think its all gone and lets take the booms down and the ships away and the workers go home........ how can anyone believe this farce???????????? its just like 'katrina fatigue' well now its 'gulf oil disaster fatigue'........... its a lockstep with the media too, well time to go to the next story! sooooooooooooooooooooo wrong.

Kathy B (106)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 6:50 am
Oh, the oil is still there, the dispersants have just done their job and made it into tiny droplets. Those droplets are there somewhere and may be washing up on land in unlikely places for years to come. I'm not a scientist by any means, that is my (probably very) unscientific observation of what is likely to happen.

Kathy B (106)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 8:29 am
Haven't read the whole article yet - but looks like some of the missing oil has been found :/

DORIS L (61)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 9:48 am
Swept under the rug, so to speak. Out of sight out of mind....not out of THIS mind.

. (0)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 9:56 am
YEAH, US LITTLE he has called all of us on several obscure stories..
Wait till November when we flip out the incumbants....I will not vote for anyone who is in office already, and that includes the year 2012!!!

Frank Lornitzo (8)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 4:15 pm
Petroleum contains toxic compounds; probably benzene the most toxic and undegradable among the volatile ; sulfur compounds (thiophene benzene's twin) nitrogenic (pyridine, collidine) carciogenic condensed ring: (methyl cholanthrene). As these have alway been leaking from places there may be some natural resistance
but proliferation form human production is definitely a factor in human animal and plant disease.

Kit B (276)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 8:28 pm
Frank, thank you, thats all so very true.

Salome Waters (31)
Monday August 2, 2010, 12:59 am
My guess is that much of it is smothering the bottom with a deadly effect (the combination of oil and dispersant is so toxic it will kill a fish if it just brushes by a glob in the water.) It enters through the skin and the fish dies soon after. Same with people. Please don't touch the rusty looking globs please. Will make you sick.
The rest is in various layers of water, all on a one way trip to the bottom.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Wednesday August 4, 2010, 1:38 am
Everything might eventually seem normal but it won't be - not in our lifetime. There will be marine species that will be lost forever. So the big oil Companies can stop patting themselves on the back because it has recently come to light that the dispersants used have been as deadly - if not more so - than the oil itself. The huge salaries the CEO's have paid themselves should have to go into a fund to give relief to those that have suffered in this unforgivable catastrophe.
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