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Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


Gulf Coast Firecane?

   
Gulf Coast Firecane?

Need AbsentWizard and others to chime in on this.

People are posting graphics all over the place (most have NSFW language so I won't post here) about the 'worst case scenario' for if a hurricane goes through the Gulf while the BP oil spill is there. It goes something like.

Hurricane
Hurricane sucks up oil
Lightning ignites oil
FIRECANE!

So, I know there's no Mythbusters episode about it, and I can't find much on the internet concerning it, besides heresy since this all happened. So, we're going to put it to you guys: can lightning ignite crude oil?

Should be able to... the question is if it can ignite the oil and said oil can keep burning while on a hurricane.

Highly doubt it - oil already had to be boomed up into a thick layer for them to catch it on fire earlier in the recovery process. Oil being sucked up into the air would mean sucking up a lot of water, and doubt it would ignite with all that water vapor, etc along with it.

But, hey! The incredible B-rated disaster movies you could film!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agricolus View Post
Highly doubt it - oil already had to be boomed up into a thick layer for them to catch it on fire earlier in the recovery process. Oil being sucked up into the air would mean sucking up a lot of water, and doubt it would ignite with all that water vapor, etc along with it.

But, hey! The incredible B-rated disaster movies you could film!
I agree with this. Including the B-movie

Oil isn't nearly as explosive as Hollywood wants us to believe.

Yup, Wippit Guud nailed it. Everything XKCD does turns into an instant meme. Nevertheless, he has exceptional comics. Anywho, /thread.

There's also the matter of the oil's distribution in the water column. Tracking the spill from satellite so far has been difficult precisely because the great majority of it is suspended deep in the water column, not floating in a layer on top of it. So to such up even half the oil, the hurricane would need to be powerful enough to lower the sea level in the Gulf by a few hundred feet. And I imagine that 1) That much water wouldn't particularly like being set on fire and 2) Flooding and the hyper-hurricane that caused it would be an immensely bigger issue anyway.

Along with how much water?




 

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