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Question:
What method of consistent measurement can be used to test whether water temperature affects oil spill cleanup?



Replies:
I think it would be easier to measure water temperature consistently than it would be to measure "oil spill clean up" consistently. You need to define what is meant by "water temperature" and "oil spill clean up" in order to answer this question. For example, if you define water temperature to be "the average reading of a mercury thermometer immersed one foot below the surface taken at hourly intervals over a twenty four hour period" then you could measure it consistently by simply following the same procedures at every oil spill site you wish to measure. Similarly you need to define "oil spill clean up" in precise terms and apply the same measurement procedure at every observation site. If you measured "oil spill clean up" as "the time it takes crude oil (what kind?) to become saturated and sink to the bottom", then you could probably get good experimental data in a laboratory.

You can find an example of a study relating temperature to oil spill clean-up efficiency by calling the National Technical Information Service at (703) 487- 4780 and asking for a report published in 1978 by Eric Schrier called "Clean up efficiency and biological effects of a fuel oil spill in cold weather."

Mortis



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