Oil spill in Dalian, China

Oil spill in Dalian, China

Five days ago, in the northeastern port city of Dalian, China, two oil pipelines exploded, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air and burning for over 15 hours, destroying several structures – the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The damaged pipes released thousands of gallons of oil, which flowed into the nearby harbor and the Yellow Sea. The total amount of oil spilled is still not clear, though China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons (400,000 gallons), as compared to the estimated 94 – 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick has now grown to at least 430 square kilometers (165 sq mi), forcing beaches and port facilities to close while government workers and local fishermen work to contain and clean up the spill. (29 photos total)

Firefighters walk near an oil pipeline blast site in Dalian, Liaoning province, China early on July 17, 2010. Firefighters later extinguished the fire that raged for more than 15 hours after two oil pipelines exploded in the port of Dalian, the Xinhua news agency said. (REUTERS/China Daily)


(Via The Big Picture.)

Supercomputer Calculates Projected Path of BP Oil Disaster

Supercomputer Calculates Projected Path of BP Oil Disaster

BP may not know where oil from the Gulf gusher will go next, but Intel does. The Xeon-powered Encanto supercomputer, located at Intel’s Rio Rancho campus, is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. And all of its 3,500 quad-core processors are devoted to tracking the potential paths of the BP disaster.

Encanto started working on the oil disaster just a few days after it began, but progress has been slow-going. The first six simulations alone sucked up over 250,000 hours of computer time using the Parallel Ocean program, a 3-D ocean circulation model design at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Intel researchers plugged in the latitude and longitude of the Gulf disaster to see where an electronic “dye tracer” dropped in the water might land. The results aren’t encouraging. Once the oil moves past Florida to the Gulf Stream, it could carry oil up to 3,000 miles each month–to the East Coast and beyond.

(Via Dvorak Uncensored.)