Topkill Might Be Sorta Kinda Maybe Working? Part II Adding Junk

So it turns out that viewers at home marveling at how much ‘mud’ was spewing from the leak were right, apparently something wasn’t working. The force of the mud was not enough to bring down the well pressure, which is the bench mark that starts the application of concrete. They have resumed pumping the mud, but are now injecting junk, or ‘bridging material’ into the mix. They have also been introducing junk and various other jamming materials into the BOP hoping to lower the pressure that way.

So it sounds like BP wasn’t able to force the mud deep enough into the well to plug it, but due to risks they probably started this process with the lowest estimated pressures to keep the pipe intact. Let’s see what happens when they put some weight on the pedal.

CNN Wire Staff writes,

“This whole operation is very, very dynamic,” Doug Suttles, the company’s chief operating officer, told CNN’s “John King, USA.”

“When we did the initial pumping (Wednesday), we clearly impacted the flow of the well. We then stopped to monitor the well. Based on that, we restarted again. We didn’t think we were making enough progress after we restarted, so we stopped again.”

The light-brown material that was seen spilling out of the well throughout Thursday was the previously pumped fluid from the “top kill” procedure mixed with oil, he said.

read more at CNN

Oceans’ Chemistry Changing Rapidly

The fish might need these one day.

Not too long ago we reported that the oceans are farting out a lot of methane. Today’s special Earth Day report confirms that the chemical makeup of the world’s oceans is changing – fast – because of  increased CO2 absorption from the atmosphere.

The pH of the oceans is declining, i.e. our seas are growing more acidic. In fact, since the Industrial Revolution to today, the rate of increasing acidity is greater than at any time in the last 800,000 years. And that’s really bad news for coral, and for photosynthesis.

The full story in the AP is located below the fold, since the story comes to me over Yahoo!’s network, and it destroys links after a certain time.

Continue reading “Oceans’ Chemistry Changing Rapidly”

Bright Ideas from Maine, #1

A couple of our WHA provocateurs are proud Mainers. Here’s a good reason for them to be proud: the Maine State Legislature just passed a law – the nation’s first! – requiring manufacturers of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to set up recycling programs for the cool, energy-efficient doohickeys. By 2011, a system will be in place for the collection and recycling of CFLs, which is kind of awesome since CFLs have one serious nervous-making downside: they’re made with mercury, a heavy metal that’s way more dangerous to your kids’ mental health than Metallica. The law also requires limits on the amount of mercury that can be used in the light bulbs. Now, since we all know that mercury in the environment tends to find its way into fish, and the coast of Maine has a lot of fish – well, this is all rather sensible, isn’t it? Mainers have a reputation for that.