The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected, a piece of good news that raises tricky new questions about how fast the government should scale back its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The immense patches of surface oil that covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the April 20 oil rig explosion are largely gone, though sightings of tar balls and emulsified oil continue here and there.
Reporters flying over the area Sunday spotted only a few patches of sheen and an occasional streak of thicker oil, and radar images taken since then suggest that these few remaining patches are quickly breaking down in the warm surface waters of the gulf.
Scientists said the rapid dissipation of the surface oil was probably due to a combination of factors. The gulf has an immense natural capacity to break down oil, which leaks into it at a steady rate from thousands of natural seeps. Though none of the seeps is anywhere near the size of the Deepwater Horizon leak, they do mean that the gulf is swarming with bacteria that can eat oil.
Archive for July, 2010
A Bosnian man who claims he is being targeted by extraterrestrials after a series of meteorite strikes on his house has now been hit by a sixth space rock in the space of a few years.
Radivoje Lajic first came to international attention in 2008, shortly after the fifth meteorite had crashed into the roof of his house in the northern village of Gornji Lajici.
And now, within the past month, another rock has hit the roof of his house, in defiance of all the odds – making it six strikes since the plague of meteorites began in 2007.
Experts at Belgrade University have confirmed that all the falling rocks he has handed over were meteorites. They are now trying to work out what exactly it is about his house that particularly attracts them. The strikes always happen when it is raining heavily, he says, never when there are clear skies.
Lajic has his own explanation, of course. After the fifth rock struck his house, he said: ‘I am obviously being targeted by extraterrestrials. I don’t know what I have done to annoy them but there is no other explanation that makes sense. The chance of being hit by a meteorite is so small that getting hit six times has to be deliberate.’
A businessman enraged that a helicopter blew debris on to his car and garden tried to cling to it as it took off, a court heard.