Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Natural Oil Leaks
Equal To 8–80
Exxon Valdez Spills

Editorial - May 19th, 2010 - InTech Magazine

There is an oil spill everyday at Coal Oil Point (COP), the natural seeps off Santa Barbara, where 20-25 tons of oil have leaked from the seafloor each day for the last several hundred thousand years.

Earlier research by Reddy and Valentine at the site found microbes were capable of degrading a significant portion of the oil molecules as they traveled from the reservoir to the ocean bottom, and that once the oil floated to sea surface, about 10% of the molecules evaporated within minutes.

“One of the natural questions is: What happens to all of this oil?” Valentine said. “So much oil seeps up and floats on the sea surface. It’s something we’ve long wondered. We know some of it will come ashore as tar balls, but it doesn’t stick around. And then there are the massive slicks. You can see them, sometimes extending 20 miles from the seeps. But what really is the ultimate fate?”

Scientists and engineers have understood that the ability of the ocean to absorb large oil spills is one of the reasons that the Santa Barbara and Exxon Valdez spills were both only temporary issues and quickly were overcome by mother nature. Environmental extremists hate this reality. They hate mankind and it causes them tremendous grief that they cannot find the long term damage they predict after these man caused disasters.

The problem is of course that huge quantities of oil seep in to the ocean naturally every day. Much larger quantities than any man made disaster could ever be responsible for. What we should be asking is, why does anyone worry so much about the small man made disasters when it is almost irrelevant in the face of the natural seepage?


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