Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Microbes May Consume Far More Oil-Spill Waste Than Earlier Thought



Science Daily: Microbes May Consume Far More Oil-Spill Waste Than Earlier Thought.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — Microbes living at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico may consume far more of the gaseous waste from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill than previously thought, according to research carried out within 100 miles of the spill site.

A paper on that research, conducted before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded six months ago, will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Deep-Sea Research II. It describes the anaerobic oxidation of methane, a key component of the Gulf oil spill, by microbes living in seafloor brine pools.

"Because of the ample oil and gas reserves under the Gulf of Mexico, slow seepage is a natural part of the ecosystem," says Peter R. Girguis, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University. "Entire communities have arisen on the seafloor that depend on these seeps. Our analysis shows that within these communities, some microbes consume methane 10 to 100 times faster than we've previously realized."

4 comments:

john bailo said...

I have predicted that we might see a blooming of marine life there in year or two -- the opposite of what the doomsters are saying -- as BP just spread billions of dollars of natural fertilizer on the sea floor.

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

Welcome back!

John may well be correct. However, the prevalence of clathrates around the world seems rto be proof that this is very patchy and may be of little use, for whatever reason. Also, I doubt we know what actually went on with that well. A gusher may just have been deliberately leaked and then capped to keep prices high?

OilIsMastery said...

Hey John. Excellent point.

OilIsMastery said...

Thanks Fungus.