Leaving off with the noisome issue of atheist trolling, the situation in the Gulf of Mexico continues to astonish in the worst possible way. The New York Times reported yesterday that 'giant plumes" of oil had been discovered in deep water by scientists working in the region of the spill. The Times reports that "Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day." Truly daunting to consider. One such plume is described as "10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots." Oxygen levels in the water are sharply down, boding ill for all marine life and making it likely that the dead zone in the Gulf will be broadly widened by the spill. This afternoon the NY Times reports that BP has had some success at inserting a tube into the blown riser pipe to divert and capture some oil and gas.
On the NY Times Interactive Spill Tracker site, BP's worst case scenario estimate is now 66 million gallons spilt, some 6 times that of the Exxon Valdez. The estimates of Dr. Joye and her University of Georgia team now make that figure look as if it may not be far from the mark when we consider that we are just shy of one month since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew.
Meanwhile, on Friday President Obama announced "Top to bottom reform of the federal agency that regulates offshore drilling. It's about damn time...
Some AP footage of the plumes and the spill in general: