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Maou Tsaou says:The Earth has something like 60,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 total water molecules.
An old Life nature library volume The Sea tries to put this unimaginable number into perspective.
It mentions that a water molecule is only one eighteen-billionth of an inch in diameter yet together they would make a column of water 75 miles in diameter and 70,000 miles high.
But it then points out the connectiveness of the system with another example.
Take an 8 ounce glass of water and mark the molecules so they can be identified then take the glass and pour it in the ocean.
After a few thousand years of “mixing” every glass of water in the sea would hold about 1500 molecules from the original glass.
So what about the Gulf spill?
1 gallon is 128 ounces or 16 glasses of water per gallon.
BP public admissions of Gulf oil spill >200,000,000 gallons of oil.
BP officially admits to spilling over 3,200,000,000 glasses of oil.
That’s 4,800,000,000,000 oil molecules per glass when mixed and independent estimates put the flow rate MUCH higher (the coast guard typically seems to lie by an order of magnitude), not to mention that the thing is still “seeping” along with other wells in the gulf including 8 wells owned by Taylor Energy that have been leaking since Ivan in 2004 and this group is just over ten miles off the coast and not a deep water cluster.
1 cubic mile is about 10,000,000,000,000 gallons.
A gallon of gas weighs about 6.3 pounds 5.5 pounds of which is carbon.
Actually, a barrel of oil is 42 gallons. When the barrel is processed, you may get something like 15 gallons of gasoline, 9 gal. of fuel oil (See Gasoil / D2), 10 gal. of jet fuel (Kerosene) and 4 gal of other “heavy” products such as lubricants, grease, asphalt / bitumene and plastics and 4 gallons of lighter condensates/naphtha.
In energy equivalents, 1 barrel=42 gallons of oil is estimated to be around 19.5 gallons of gas (natural gas) so this is a very loose estimate.
The Earth’s water is about 330,000,000 cubic miles in volume.
Carbon is the tenth most common element in normal seawater at 132,000 tons per cubic mile.
200,000,000 gallons of oil would have loosely 1,100,000,000 pounds or 550,000 tons of carbon.
That would add over 3 pounds of carbon per gallon of Earth’s water by admission and more likely around 30 pounds and growing additional carbon per each gallon of Earth’s water from this one event.
There have been plenty of others.
From the early 1970s through the ’90s, offshore rigs and pipelines averaged about four spills per year of at least 50 barrels, according to the Minerals Management Service (MMS). One barrel is equal to 42 gallons. The average annual total surged to more than 17 from 2000 through 2009. From 2005 through 2009, spills averaged 22 a year.
The spills — and the amount of oil that leaked — grew markedly worse even when taking increases in production into account, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data shows. The leaks came as the oil industry repeatedly claimed that offshore drilling was never safer.