Friday, February 25, 2011

How does 200 million gallons of oil compare to the size of our Oceans

So I asked around WHOI "What exactly can we compare 200 Million gallons of oil with in our modern world to get a better understanding of just how much oil actually spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the Macondo well. Well you might be very surprised by the answer I got from Ken Kostel of WHOI!

The volume of the ocean is about 310 million cubic miles, which is a cube about 680 miles on a side--or a sphere a little over 500 miles in diameter.

The volume of the Gulf of Mexico is 584,000 cubic miles, which is a cube a little over 83 miles on a side or a sphere about 100 miles in diameter.

The amount spilled is 200 million gallons, which works out to .0002 cubic miles, or a cube just 300 feet on a side--or a sphere about 370 feet it diameter.

OK thanks Ken! So lets look at some graphical comparisons to better visualize the ENORMOUS impact this amount of oil has had upon the environment.

One thing I would tell you is that I had less than a drop of the oil on my thumb during our filming of the Marsh lands in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana. That one drop as I rubbed it between my thumb and forefinger spread out and when I rubbed both my hands together I received a very nice sheen completely covering the palms and fingers of both of my hands! LESS THAN 1 DROP !

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