Gulf Spill May Far Exceed Official Estimates; 70,000 barrels a day?

Richard Harris writes for NPR:

The amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico may be at least 10 times the size of official estimates, according to an exclusive analysis conducted for NPR.

At NPR’s request, experts examined video that BP released Wednesday. Their findings suggest the BP spill is already far larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska, which spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil.

tug boat bp oil spill

BP has said repeatedly that there is no reliable way to measure the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by looking at the oil gushing out of the pipe. But scientists say there are actually many proven techniques for doing just that.

Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.

A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day — much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.

The method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent…

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  • dumbsaint

    There is no way this wont leave an apocalyptic scar on the planet. Humans suck

  • tonyviner

    Why even bother anymore? You can't make a difference unless you have money, and you can't make money unless you ruin the lives of millions of people. It kinda makes you wish that someone would just press the fucking red button already, let the planet start over. Maybe next time it will have some creatures that give a shit. Hopefully they aren't too mutated and cancerous from all of the jacked-up, twisted shit we have done so far.

    Like George Carlin said, “The planet is gonna be fine. The people are fucked!”

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6P5PBLZIDF2UZGPWPIC7RX4REI Chasing

    I thought they said a few days ago that most of it was disappearing? I think it was not taken so well and maybe they decided to be a bit more forthcoming this time, eh?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6P5PBLZIDF2UZGPWPIC7RX4REI Chasing

    I thought they said a few days ago that most of it was disappearing? I think it was not taken so well and maybe they decided to be a bit more forthcoming this time, eh?

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