Oil spill cleanup and temperature
What method of consistent measurement can be used to test whether water
temperature affects oil spill cleanup?
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."
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Update: June 2012