Oilspill Aftermath

More about the oil spill: a recent AP article (via Yahoo! news) identifies the amount of oil left in the Gulf as approximately 53 million gallons, some of it stuck to the marshlands along the coast and some dispersed into the water — a situation likened to sugar dissolved in a cup of tea.

Of course, the problem is that the analogy doesn’t help. You can taste the sugar in the tea, meaning that it still reacts with your taste buds. If you happen to leave your cup out, the tea will evaporate, leaving the sugar. A diabetic person who drinks too much sugared tea may have a blood glucose spike.

Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Gulf of Mexico is poisoned, both by the oil and by the dispersants.

At this point, there is no way to clean up most of the remaining oil.

Like Superglue on your fingers, the dispersed oil will remain until natural processes remove it. In the meantime, how much havoc will it wreak on the Gulf flora and fauna, much less the humans nearby?

One of the natural processes that may “remove” the oil from the Gulf is the Loop Current, consisting of warm Caribbean water that moves north past the Yucatan peninsula to near Louisiana, then east and south to pass   Florida and merge with the Gulf Stream. The problem with the Gulf Stream, of course, is that it can move the oil up the eastern seaboard of the U.S., then out into the Atlantic ocean where, eventually, it could affect the UK and Europe.

Another issue is the fact that right now the Loop Current is mostly inactive, according to Oceanweather, Inc. and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). During April and May, the Current looped farther north, closer to Louisiana and the oil spill. However, in June there was an increase in eddies and the northern end of the Loop Current began to break away from the rest of the Current. At present, the Gulf is dominated by local eddies along with a large circular current in its center.

That means that the remaining oil is stuck here, at least for awhile.