Hurricane + Oil Spew = !

Earlier this month I couldn’t find answers to my question expressed as Hurricanes + Oil Spill = ? As predicted, folks are thinking about this, and journalists are beginning to cover it. From CNN:

Evans said the storm could either move the oil along the water’s surface or it could mix the oil with the water and cause it to sink. If the oil moved horizontally, the shoreline would be polluted, she said. If it moved vertically, the marine life under the surface would suffer.

The oil could slow the storm’s growth, Feltgen said. Evaporated ocean water fuels hurricanes, and the oil forming a film across the Gulf could buffer the water from the air, preventing the ocean water from feeding the hurricane, he said.

But other scientists say the storms could be stronger than usual because the black oil would heat the water faster and accelerate formation of hurricanes, which rely on warm waters for their development, Evans said.

So, there are some hypotheses, but it sorta seems like we don’t know much.

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