It's probably not easy to calculate exactly how much oil is being spewed when the geyser is hundreds of feet below the water's surface. But it's even harder when you rush and use the wrong formula.
Sorry little guy, things are gonna get much worse before they get better.
Conventional wisdom had it that the BP spill was pumping 5,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Where'd that number come from?
The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method that is specifically not recommended for major oil spills.While 5,000 was bad, the revised estimate is worse by a magnitude of ecological Armageddon:
Extrapolating from the 30-second snatch of underwater video that BP made available, NPR science correspondent Richard Harris reported that analysts think the well is spewing 10 times more oil into the Gulf than previously estimated, up to 70,000 barrels per day. As Harris put it, that's the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez tanker--previously the high-water mark for American oil spills--every four days.But at least we know how to stop it. Oh, wait.