Friday, October 15, 2010

The not so good oil

So everyone's happy that the oil spill in the Gulf seems to have disappeared faster than expected. Hooray for little oil eating microbes that must be reaching the size of Blue whales by now.

Others aren't so sure at this miracle. The oil is still down there, floating around the water column but in smaller slicks or particles or sinking to the bottom to smother the seabed and anything living down there. Wait for the first big storm to stir the oil pudding and see what happens.

Reading New Scientist bring another oil gem to light. World War 11 and the tonnes of shipping that went to the bottom with their cargoes of oil, still down there in rusting hulks. 8500 of these rusting hulks in various parts of the ocean already slowly leaking. In Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia more than 50 Japanese wrecks are on the bottom, a time bomb of eco-disaster.

There are also the more recent ship sinkings which we have to worry about since a lot of these ships weren't in the best condition to be sailing at all but that's what 'flags of convenience' are for.
If we can drill down through the sea, through the sea bed then surely we can remove and use the oil lying in these wrecks. Just don't think about the munitions that are probably lying around ready to go boom. Lord knows what they're leaking into the ocean.


Andrew said...

Nothing ever disappears.

JahTeh said...

Except R into a bedroom after a phonecall.

Jayne said...

Sad and scary.

JahTeh said...

Jayne, I can't guggle it but there is a ship off a port or in port in England that sank carrying munitions and it's so dangerous they can't do anything with it. All there is, is a marker to keep other ships away. We need Lord Hughes for this.

River said...

I read that as World War eleven and wondered where the last 3000 years had disappeared to while I sat hypnotised by my screen.
I think you're onto something there, with drilling down and collecting all that waste oil for use.

JahTeh said...

River, you can still see the oil slick coming up from the battleship memorial in Pearl Harbour. A lot of the naval ships would be designated as war graves but there are still a lot of tankers and merchant ships out there.