September 14, 2010

Gulf May Have Avoided Direst Predictions After Spill - NYTimes.com

Gulf May Have Avoided Direst Predictions After Spill - NYTimes.com

More opinion that the Gulf is recovering much better and faster from the BP mess than predicted when the well was still gushing oil. Nature has effective ways of repairing itself even when the situation is overblown by the media and the scientists they often feature who hold extreme opinions.
"...Separately, scientists are arguing heatedly about how fast a large plume of dispersed oil more than a half-mile below the surface of the gulf is breaking down and how great a threat it poses to sea life.
Yet as the weeks pass, evidence is increasing that through a combination of luck (a fortunate shift in ocean currents that kept much of the oil away from shore) and ecological circumstance (the relatively warm waters that increased the breakdown rate of the oil), the gulf region appears to have escaped the direst predictions of the spring.
While its findings were disputed by some, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported several weeks ago that the oil was breaking down and dispersing rapidly, probably limiting future damage from the spill.
And preliminary reports from scientists studying the effects on marshes, wildlife and the gulf itself suggest that the damage already done by the spill may also be significantly less than was feared — less, in fact, than the destruction from the much smaller Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989..."
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