“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is hoarding vast amounts of raw data that independent marine researchers say could help both the public and scientists better understand the extent of the damage being caused by the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” begins the article by Dan Froomkin in the Huffington Post, and of course…though non-industry connected scientists and the public do not get this access, British Petroleum sees it right away.
What the NOAA is measuring are oil plumes, the large bodies of oil underneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes are formed by the mass use of dispersants like Corexit that keep the oil suspended under the water where it leads to oxygen depletion and damage to aquatic life. Some scientists fear that whole species of fish could be wiped out by the plumes, which are said to be miles wide and fathoms deep in some places.
Said to be, because nobody really knows how large these plumes have become. In early June the NOAA identified one plume that they said was stretching for fifteen miles and as much as three miles wide, all 3600 feet below the surface of the Gulf, but since then information has been scarce and British Petroleum has even denied the plumes exist. The information the NOAA is concealing will have to go through a vetting process that could take several weeks, released well after British Petroleum’s shareholder’s meeting on July 27th. Independent scientists say this long delay is “slow-crawling” and unnecessary, arguing that even if the NOAA’s estimates are off by 10-20% percent, the public has a right to know how much and where the oil is going; the data is what’s needed for study in hopes of finding solutions.
Yes, solutions…solutions to a problem; well, one problem it would seem is what independent scientists believe constitutes a problem and the fact that British Petroleum always seems to disagree with their assessments.
Read the article and remember, you are on a need to know basis…
Have a nice day