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Old 06-18-10, 03:50 PM   #1
no1mad
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Gulf oil and hurricanes...

Maybe the talking heads on the various idiot boxes of the world have already gone over this, but I'll bring it up anyway.

What's gonna happen if a major storm like Katrina hits the Gulf with all of that oil?

Discuss- and kindly keep it non-P&R, as I don't have access.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:26 PM   #2
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The Gulf will emulsify into a nice petroleum/seawater-dead dolphin-pelican-etc vinagrette
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Old 06-18-10, 04:31 PM   #3
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Where is that video where they show a fake movie plot where a hurricane whips the oil up into a massive frothy mess and then ignites it with lightning and the whole Gulf of Mexico blows up... I can't find it or remember where I saw it.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:36 PM   #4
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That was it! It was in xkcd. I read too many wbecomics, I guess. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-10, 04:37 PM   #5
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I'm a meteorology student and many people where I work are talking about this. The spill means definitely ill times. If it had been a month or two later though things would be much worse. At least now it was soon enough that large scale recovery has begun before the canes start hitting. Otherwise things would be worse.

A few things that should cause problems with oil and hurricanes. Hurricanes are fed by warm ocean waters. If the oil on the surface is darker then the water, and floats, then it will absorb heat and warm up the surface of the ocean a lot more then usual. Because water is somewhat clear, often the suns radiation is absorbed by a deep layer near the surface. However oil is not, and water temps could soar near slicks. The higher the surface temps, the easier it is for a tropical system to increase in intensity. However, the slicks may prevent the evaporation of surface water, which without water vapor the cyclones may weaken. So the question on many meteorologists mind is which has a greater effect, and will it be on a large enough scale to make a difference.

Also, Hurricanes stir up the oceans waters, mostly in the top 100 feet of water. If there are shallow depth plumes, then these will be stirred and distribute oil to much larger area of the ocean, which will kill wildlife for sure.

The whole thing is awful. Just proves we need to use less oil and convert more people over to bikes and mass transportation.

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Old 06-18-10, 04:49 PM   #6
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See that huge shiite fan over there? Everything will be forced through it.

@wxduff, my wife and I were talking about that evaporation scenario today. If moisture can't get through the oil, no hurricane fuel. Sounds logical to me.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:54 PM   #7
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See that huge shiite fan over there? Everything will be forced through it.

@wxduff, my wife and I were talking about that evaporation scenario today. If moisture can't get through the oil, no hurricane fuel. Sounds logical to me.
It does, but I think there are plenty of gaps between the oil slicks that what will end up happening is the slicks will act as heat sources, and the temps will convect over to the gaps. Kind of like running pipes full of a hot liquid around the side of your pool to heat the middle. I think the question is how high will temps get in the gulf. If you see anomalies of greater then +10 degrees F at the surface, the first system to move into the gulf will become a real monster.

Luckily meteorologists have satellites that can measure these temps from outer space, and my theory could be proven false when the gulf gets active. Right now the Eastern Pacific seems to be more active, so there's still some time to clean up a bit.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:56 PM   #8
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The real question is what happens when a hurricane hits the gulf oil slick when it's had 15 million pounds of spaghettios dumped on it?
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Old 06-18-10, 05:06 PM   #9
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Heres a chart of current sea surface anomalies (How much higher temps are at a spot compared to climatological averages.)



The area of dark green corresponds well with where much of the spills oil is, as well as the area South of Florida. The largest anomaly so far is around 3 degrees C South of Florida. These anomalies might not be all from the oil slick, but I believe it is a main contributor.

Please note the map above from unisys is in degrees C, in F thats around 5.5 degrees.

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Old 06-18-10, 05:29 PM   #10
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wxduff - thanks for the awesome posts here
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Old 06-18-10, 05:50 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info duff.
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Old 06-18-10, 05:55 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, I just finished a blog that basically sums up the info, maybe a little bit more there then what I've posted here, but the idea is the same. Feel free to read about what I think about most of the time, even on the bike!

http://www.wxduff.com
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Old 06-18-10, 06:10 PM   #13
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Old 06-18-10, 07:38 PM   #14
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Old 06-18-10, 07:56 PM   #15
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Old 06-18-10, 08:05 PM   #16
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One really bad effect will be the storm surge pushing oil and sea water in much further than they are now. The contamination will reach far into the marsh, swamp land and up rivers.
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Old 06-21-10, 08:25 AM   #17
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Also, there is the fact that oil prevents water from evaporating. This means that less moisture gets into the atmosphere in the Gulf, which means more drought for areas that get their water from prevailing winds.
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Old 06-21-10, 10:08 AM   #18
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I heard/read some where that all the damage we've done to the earth will be irreversible (by humans) in like three years, so if this turns out to be a fact and not just some interweb bull**** whats the ****ing use? The only way is to let earth fix itself, and we all know that as humans we'll never let that happen, 'cause as a whole we're just to ****ing stupid.
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Old 06-22-10, 11:16 AM   #19
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Also, there is the fact that oil prevents water from evaporating. This means that less moisture gets into the atmosphere in the Gulf, which means more drought for areas that get their water from prevailing winds.
Right. I asked that, sort of, in #7. Hmm.....
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Old 06-22-10, 11:48 AM   #20
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Im under the impression that most of the storms that hit the gulf coast actually start life out in the Atlantic. As of right now its pretty much untainted, so my assumption would be that the development of tropical storms will, largely, be unaffected by the gulf spill.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-22-10, 04:51 PM   #21
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The storms have historically formed way out in the Atlantic, so the storms should form up as normal. But the real debate going on is when a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico that is affected by the oil.

-The oil will heat up the air, increasing evaporation, and potentially increase the storms force.
-The oil will still heat the air, but has spread to cover a much larger surface area. Reduces evaporation and potentially weakens the storm.

And Roland Emmerich is (probably) already working on the screenplay...
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Old 06-22-10, 05:20 PM   #22
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I heard/read some where that all the damage we've done to the earth will be irreversible (by humans) in like three years, so if this turns out to be a fact and not just some interweb bull**** whats the ****ing use? The only way is to let earth fix itself, and we all know that as humans we'll never let that happen, 'cause as a whole we're just to ****ing stupid.
I wouldn't say "we". It is a select few who have the reins who are driving the wagon off the cliff. Had it been up to pretty much anyone on BF, we would have been working on nuclear power solutions to make them as idiot resistant and secure as possible, and oil would be used for mainly making plastics, not burning. Even then, thermal depolymerization can reclaim used/spent plastics to be remanufactured into useful goods.
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Old 06-22-10, 07:35 PM   #23
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And Roland Emmerich is (probably) already working on the screenplay...
I would watch this movie and then buy it. Disaster movies, no matter how bad the science, are my thing.
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Old 06-22-10, 08:25 PM   #24
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...A few things that should cause problems with oil and hurricanes. Hurricanes are fed by warm ocean waters. If the oil on the surface is darker then the water, and floats, then it will absorb heat and warm up the surface of the ocean a lot more then usual. Because water is somewhat clear, often the suns radiation is absorbed by a deep layer near the surface. However oil is not, and water temps could soar near slicks. The higher the surface temps, the easier it is for a tropical system to increase in intensity. However, the slicks may prevent the evaporation of surface water, which without water vapor the cyclones may weaken. So the question on many meteorologists mind is which has a greater effect, and will it be on a large enough scale to make a difference...
I'm not a meteorologist (or a meaty urologist). Hey. What do meteors have to do with weather most days anyhow?!? Well back to topic. What I highlighted was my initial thought on the matter.
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Old 06-24-10, 12:27 PM   #25
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I added a new blog at www.wxduff.com, which discusses some new developments and some info on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's thoughts on topic.

Hope it helps.
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