Despite breaking up quickly, oil in Gulf could linger underwater for years

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Images from the Gulf of Mexico suggest a once vast expanse of oil is breaking up so rapidly it may soon be invisible to satellite photography. But scientists warned today that underwater plumes of oil could linger for a year or even decades.

One hundred days after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, the US moved into a new phase in its response to the country’s worst environmental disaster today.

John Amos, president of SkyTruth, an environmental satellite organisation, said the slick was “breaking up in more isolated patches. In the next few days, if there are no new oil leaks, we expect those patches to break down so that we can’t see them in satellite images.”

Amid the relatively good news about the slick, the justice department has stepped up its criminal investigation of BP and two other companies and is assembling a “BP squad” in New Orleans, the Washington Post reported.

Full story: Gulf oil slick breaks up rapidly and begins to slip below waves – The Guardian