March 7, 2011 – ‘Scientific Processes & Data Generation – Gulf of Mexico’

Listen to Program. March 7, 2011 – ‘Scientific Processes & Data Generation – Gulf of Mexico’ Guests: Scientist Dr. Brian O’Leary & Ecologist Dr. Paul W. Sammarco The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or the Macondo blowout) is a massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, now considered the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.Some estimates placed it by late May or early June as among the largest oil spills in the world with tens of millions of gallons spilled to date. The spill stems from a sea floor 10,000 foot deep oil gusher (MC252) that followed the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others. The gusher, now estimated by the quasi-official Flow Rate Technical Group to be flowing at 20,000 to 40,000 barrels (840,000 to 1,700,000 US gallons; 3,200,000 to 6,400,000 litres) of crude oil per day, originates from a deepwater wellhead 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below the ocean surface. The exact spill flow rate is uncertain in part because BP has refused to allow independent scientists to perform accurate measurements and is a matter of ongoing debate. The resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2), with the exact size and location of the slick fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions.

Dr. Brian O’Leary (1940 – 2011) Dr. O’Leary, Ph.D., is a scientist-philosopher with fifty years of experience in academic research, teaching and government service in frontier science and energy policy.  He was a NASA scientist-astronaut during the Apollo program, the first to be selected for a planned Mars mission, and participated in unmanned planetary missions as an Ivy League professor. Over the past four decades, Dr. O’Leary has been an international author, speaker, peace activist, founder of non-profits, and advisor to progressive U.S. Congress members and presidential candidates. Brian’s latest book, “The Energy Solution Revolution”, describes the enormous potential of breakthrough clean energy technologies, their suppression and their logical necessity for our survival.  Zero-point (vacuum) energy, cold fusion, and advanced hydrogen and water chemistry could provide us all an abundant future for all of humanity. In 2004, he and his wife, the artist Meredith Miller, moved to the Andes in Ecuador, where they co-created Montesuenos – an eco-retreat and educational center dedicated to creativity and the rights of nature.

Dr. Paul W. Sammarco is a Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Chauvin, Louisiana, USA.  He has been conducting research on coral reef ecology for 30 years, in the western Atlantic (Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas) and on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  He has served an Assistant Professor at Clarkson University (NY), a senior research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and Executive Director and a Research Professor at LUMCON.  He also served as the Director of Environmental Research for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia for several years.  He has worked at the margins of ecology and evolution and at the interface of physics, chemistry, geology, and mathematics for many years.   With respect to work on Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Sammarco is currently conducting an interdisciplinary study to determine sources and sinks of coral larvae.  Working with US Department of the Interior – Minerals Management Service, he is attempting to demonstrate the expansion of Caribbean corals into the Gulf of Mexico through their colonization of offshore oil and gas platforms.

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