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Frish ponders: How much water has already been polluted?

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  • Michael (Frish) Frishberg
    I am just speculating. And I m sending this to various number oriented correspondents and lists, so please shoot me a note if I ve blown the analysis
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2010
      I am just speculating. And I'm sending this to various number oriented
      correspondents and lists, so please shoot me a note if I've blown the
      analysis somewhere...

      Otherwise, share it as you desire!

      No one really knows, as of 06/07/2010, how much oil has come up in the Gulf.

      Some say as much as the Exxon Valdez 11,000,000 gallons of oil already has
      been surpassed.

      Today, 06/08/2010, I heard 23 to 50 million gallons of oil. Hence the
      following...

      Several weeks ago I concluded that BP ought to be charged a per cubic mile
      of ocean polluted fee. Something along the lines of $200Bn per cubic mile
      fine, (and the responsibility of mitigation of damage etc.) might help pay
      back the cost to the United States over the next 25 years or so.)

      So, how much water does that much oil pollute?

      How much oil can life tolerate in its water?

      Last night I tried the following formula.

      How many parts per million (ppm) oil in water is pollution?

      10 parts per million sounded like plenty to me.

      11,000,000 gallons of oil will pollute 1,000,000,000,000 gallons of water at
      this concentration.

      One cubic mile of water is 1,101,117,150,000 gallons of water.

      However, I just heard 1 part in a billion affected the viability of fish
      eggs in Price William Sound (ExValdez).

      Now, 11,000,000 gallons will pollute 11,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of
      water.

      Basically, 11,000 Cubic miles per Valdez spill size problem

      But, why stop there, since it could be 53,000,000 gallons spilt already.

      53,000 cubic miles of polluted sea water.

      Earth's approximate total water supply is 1,360,000,000 km3 (326,000,000 mi3
      ).
      That is, three hundred twenty six million cubic miles. Plenty left to
      pollute even after this spill.

      However, it clumps, and it floats, so the part of the ocean most productive
      is the most polluted.

      Consider, one cube of water, a mile each side...(5280 feet)
      Slice it on any face every 10 feet to make panels 1Mile x 1mile x 10ft. (528
      panels)
      Then slice in another direction every 10 feet to make strips, 10ft x 10ft x
      1mile (52.8 slices)
      Then, put the ends together...and see how many strips of oil cover how much
      ocean.

      528 x 52.8 = 27,878 "strands" of polluted water, 10 ft. x 10 ft x 1 mile
      long.

      The 27,878 strands of polluted water is for EACH cubic mile polluted.

      If I took 1ppb as the basis for pollution, instead of 10ppm, I need to
      increase the number of cubic miles from 1 per 11Mgals to 10,000 cubic miles
      per 11Mgals of oil...(or maybe 100 cubic miles, I need some help!)

      And now, we're talking some real pollution...

      Okay, so tell me if I missed something, that's a huge amount to have
      polluted...

      Consider as the oil spreads, didn't they used to control mosquitoes by
      putting oil on standing water?

      How does oxygen flow into the water change based on oil content of surface
      etc.

      Or, consider 10 feet of polluted water over 528 square Miles Ocean/shoreline
      for EACH cubic mile (11 (or 23 or 50,000) so far and counting!) etc.

      Any of you math whizzes are more than welcome to tell me how wrong I've got
      it...


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