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Gulf Leak Meter Widget by PBS NEWSHOUR to include live oil spill video

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 at 7:49 am in Oil, Oil Spills.

Oiled brown pelican. Photo by Flickr user IBRRC used under a Creative Commons License.
oiled brown pelican by IBRRC

I just received the following very interesting news release:

(Arlington, VA – May 24) The PBS NEWSHOUR today unveiled an updated version of its popular Gulf Leak Meter widget. The original widget has been modified to include a live video feed of the oil leaking into the waters off the Gulf Coast.

PBS NewsHour’s oil widget (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/05/how-much-oil-has-spilled-in-the-gulf-of-mexico.html) was originally released on May 9, offering readers the opportunity to choose among several scenarios based on BP’s and other experts’ best guesses of the spill’s size. The NewsHour continues to update the widget to include more perspectives on how much oil might be flowing from the leak and on May 17, factored in (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/05/how-much-difference-does-1000-barrels-a-day-make.html) BP’s report of some success in siphoning 2,000 barrels of oil per day from the leaking well.

Gulf oil spill slick by US Coast Guard.
gulf-oil-spill-slick-2010, US Coast Guard

Here’s a look at some of the other numbers that form the basis of PBS NewsHour’s oil leak range:

** NOAA — 210,000 gal/day http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100429/ap_on_bi_ge/us_louisiana_oil_rig_explosion_245

** Outside Estimates — 1,050,000 gal/day http://news.bostonherald.com/blogs/lifestyle/green_world/?p=380&srvc=home&position=recent

** BP (Worst Case as of May 5) — 2,520,000 gal/day http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/us/05spill.html?src=mv

** Experts’ Worst Case — 4,200,000 gal/day http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/05/despite-video-extent-of-oil-spill-remains-unclear.html

PBS NewsHour will continue to update the widget until the leak is stopped. To date, the oil widget has been embedded on over 30 websites, including: the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, Wired, NPR, ProPublic, Sen. Bill Nelson (D – FL), as well as many local PBS station web sites.

In case you’re interested, I can sum up ALL of the above information in three words: WHAT A MESS!  /Gary

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