Skip to comments.Gulf Methane Levels 1 Million Times Above Normal Are Depleting Oxygen And Creating Marine Dead Zones
Posted on 06/25/2010 5:30:48 AM PDT by Amityschild
Reuters is so not getting the administration's latest round of taxpayer bail out funding when mainstream media comes knocking on Obama's door looking for handouts. The media company has shockingly decided to release some of the truth about the biosystematic genocide currently happening in the Gulf: "As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone", U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.
Much more at link...
(Excerpt) Read more at zerohedge.com ...
If they hit a big methane pocket, it may not be BPs (ok TransOcean but their pockets aren’t as deep) after all, just a fluke accident
I am buying a large wall mounted map of the Gulf of Mexico and I am placing a label over that name.
The Obama Dead Sea.
Not to mention carbonic crucifixion.
I wish I could post that BS meter.
By WHAT physical or biological mechanism will the presence of methane gas cause the DEPLETION of oxygen?
I must have missed that part of gas laws.
And to say that there is SIX ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more methane in the water is preposterous if we are talking about methane as a solute ( ie dissolved methane ). IIRC Methane is naturally already about 4 PPM, so a million times more methane would be 4 parts methane to one part water. This is crap. Pure crap.
And how was this measured, really?
And the huge floating rafts of dead marine life are where?
Sounds perfect and appropriate. Maybe even "the obama dead gulf" or is that golf?
Thanks for posting. Interesting comments at the link.
Hey Con-gre$$? Where is that 20B BP document the Bamster’s tyrannical branch agreed to? Check$ & Balance$?
Too big to fail? Anyone? McFly?
Yesterday is was one hundred thousnd times, today it is a million times. Ya just can’t believe anything ya read any more.
I read the article.
I am also educated ( a long time ago ) as a marine biologist.
One part of the article speaks of 100,000 times higher concentrations, another 1 million times higher than background. Those are ABSURDLY high concentrations of dissolved methane in cold, deep seawater. I find them HARD to believe.
Also, methane is NOT a toxin.
And as far as “ can encourage the growth of microbes that gobble up oxygen needed by marine life” goes, I’d like this ‘scientist’ to name the anaerobacters or facultative anaerobes that metabolize methane and “gobble up” oxygen.
Methane is hardly the threat to the ecosystem.
All the CRAP in the crude oil fraction - the aromatic hydrocarbons ( you remember those from organic chemistry in HS? ) — and the various sulfur bearing compounds and so on — all the biologically active compounds in the fraction — THOSE are the risk to life — NOT methane.
Also, why wouldn't the methane rise to the surface nearly immediately? Methane doesn't remain in suspension.
It would be spot on to suspect that much of this “sky is falling” BS about this crude oil and methane gusher has little basis in fact.
From a logical view, all this in nothing more than propaganda by the lib/dems to scare the sheeple into letting the lib/dems keep the power to destroy America from every angle possible.
I think the reporter is confusing two different things: methane and biological oxygen demand. Bacteria feed on the oil, and create a high BOD. The presence of fertilizer in the Mississippi river has caused a very well know ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf for years, for similar reasons. I also read that Ixtoc caused a high BOD. The Gulf recovered from Ixtoc, and no doubt will recover from this, but it may take a while.
Seafloor slopes of 5 degrees and less should be stable on the Atlantic continental margin, yet many landslide scars are present. The depth of the top of these scars is near the top of the hydrate zone, and seismic profiles indicate less hydrate in the sediment beneath slide scars.
Evidence available suggests a link between hydrate instability and occurrence of landslides on the continental margin. A likely mechanism for initiation of landsliding involves a breakdown of hydrates at the base of the hydrate layer.
The effect would be a change from a semi-cemented zone to one that is gas-charged and has little strength, thus facilitating sliding. The cause of the breakdown might be a reduction in pressure on the hydrates due to a sea-level drop, such as occurred during glacial periods when ocean water became isolated on land in great ice sheets.
BS meter indeed! The first hurricane in the Gulf might, might, very well dissipate a large portion of the spill and put a major damper on the MSM’s glee in reporting the evils of Big Oil.
A discussion around BOD might be in order. BUT large scale BOD is generally driven by aerobic respiration. (i.e., algae and phyto-/zoo-plankton aerobically respiring, swapping CO2 and O2)
Also the agriculturally-sourced nitrates and phosphates are the primary cause of the current O2-depleted zones.
It’s been a long time since my junior year in college, but I can’t recall that the bacteria that metabolize ‘oil’ deplete oxygen. ie, didn’t know they use O2 as a hydrogen receptor.
The net is the same — I doubt this author had any marine ecology or biochemistry in his/her past.
Methane CAN dissolve in seawater, and working admittedly from memory, I believe it ranges from about 4 PPM to 20 PPM depending on temperature, salinity and pressure (at saturation).
And yes, the VAST majority of the methane will sublime from crystalline state to a gaseous state, rise to the surface and dissipate (or be flared).
METHANE is a nontoxic, flammable, odorless gas. It is NOT a threat to the ecology of the region. (unless some radically new biology has been uncovered in the last several months by the Obama wonks). The OIL and the crap in it, IS a threat.
I'll agree with the former, but not the latter. The media will not let facts get in the way.
Dr. Kessler is a chemical oceanographer who focuses on isotope biogeochemistry to eluciade how gases in the ocean cycle and ultimately participate in global climate change. He is particularly interested in oceanic methane which, due to the dynamic nature and massive size of the relatively unexplored oceanic methane system, has the potential for feedbacks with climate. Dr. Kesslers research strives to quantify sources, sinks, and fluxes of oceanic methane using analytical chemistry measurements with particular emphasis on stable and radiocarbon isotopes. These measurements are then used in regional geochemical models to quantify methane biogeochemical cycling. In past projects, these techniques were used to study methane geochemistry in the Bering Sea, Cariaco Basin, Black Sea, and Southern California Bight to determine 1) whether methane was formed by biological, abiological (e.g. serpentization), or thermogenic processes and 2) what the present-day fluxes of methane are from sediments, methane clathrate hydrates, hydrocarbon seeps, vents, and mud volcanoes.
Dr. Kesslers research is heavily rooted in analytical chemistry and he is presently developing a portable Cavity-Ringdown Spectrometer to make measurements of methane concentration and stable isotopes (δ2H-CH4 and δ13C-CH4) in the field thus eliminating hours of sample processing and any artifacts introduced by transporting samples back to the laboratory for analysis.
Work for BP much?
The gas laws are irrelevant. This is about solubility, which is governed by the cohesive energy density(CED) of the solvent and solute. There are 3 factors contributing to the CED, hydrogen bonding, dispersion forces and polarity. The bigger the difference n the cohesive energy density of the substances, the less soluble they'll be in each others condensed phases.
Substances which have big differences in CED will not be very soluble and can be considered to be pushed out of solution by the bonding between like solvent molecules. There's only a limited amount of "holes", or disordered arrangements of solvent molecule possible that can hold the very different CED solute molecules. If other molecules with a similar CED to the insoluble solute are introduced, they will preferentially occupy the solvent "holes" and effectively drive the other substance out, because of their increased numbers.
I just noticed that Reuters put this story out Tuesday evening, HuffPo had it Wednesday. I have been on this constantly (and yes, checking out HuffPo) and I just saw this story this morning!
Why is that??? My bad???? Strange.
No, I don’t work for BP, don’t be an ass.
He’s so good at his work he has a typo in the first sentence of his bio - “focuses on isotope biogeochemistry to eluciade (sic) how gases ...” Very elucidating I would say.
It’s not about his credentials, it’s about the alleged ‘facts’ in the article. Try to stay on point.
I have serious doubts, as a FORMER marine biologists with ONLY an undergrad degree in cell physiology (over 30 years ago) about the potential harm methane poses to life forms, as explicitly referenced in the NEWS article (not a scientific pub). I also doubt that methane could be present at levels SIX ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE higher than before in the water, as a solute.
Now, your post to me borders on ad hominen as it seeks to attack me as unqualified to question the points made in the argument. Why don’t YOU try to debate the facts of the argument?
I could be an equal ass and ask you how long you’ve been a member of Green Peace or the Sierra Club?
Let’s stay on point.
“enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone”
Title says “are”, article says “potentially”.
I don’t want to link to HuffPo, but I think I discovered why I didn’t find it yesterday. I have the “Gulf Oil Spill” BIG PAGE pulled up and lo and behold...the article doesn’t show up. Earlier I found it via a google search.
That article is alarming...they’d rather report on “Meet the Robots”
That was my first thought as well. Besides - it wouldn’t be depleting oxygen. It MAY be displacing it a bit, but it isn’t reacting with and depleting it.
You’re right, my comment as written is a non-sequitor. I mashed together several points.
Point 1: Methane is not a biotoxin
Point 2: I am unaware of any metabolism by naturally occurring benthic/deep ocean/dis- a- euphotic organisms that will deplete already low dissolved O2 levels. Said organisms may indeed exist. I am unaware of them. It *MAY* be a purely chemical process. Dunno. OR it may be poppycock.
Point 3: my gas laws comment was really about solubility of methane gas in sea water, and doubts about a 5 or 6 OOM increase in dissolved methane. Gas laws/ vapor pressure only come in to play really near the ocean surface where the sea would naturally release dissolved/ super-saturated methane into the atmosphere. Sorry for the sloppy point making. Your post sets the facts right ;-)
I apologize for the snark. I’m so freaked out by the media blackout! There is so little that is being reported when this seems to be a gigantic catastrophe, methane aside!
Nice C.S. Lewis quote by the way.
Here’s a topical Reagan quote for ya:
How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
No worries ;-) Apology absolutely accepted.
You’re right about how nearly impossible it is to get reasoned, factual analysis about this mess from the press.
No one it seems is willing or able to write a straightforward piece about the REALITY of the leak and and threats, as opposed to hyping the ‘potential’ or the ‘possibility’ or the fear ... or publishing outright crap.
The Obama Dead Sea
“From a logical view, all this in nothing more than propaganda by the lib/dems to scare the sheeple into letting the lib/dems keep the power to destroy America from every angle possible.”
All the video and pics of dead birds and oil in the marshes? Just propaganda by the pinko-commie-scientists to scare the sheeple.
For the life of me I can not fathom why the MSM has this penchant for Mayan 2012 end of world, Giant Asteroid, globull warming, Poles swapping, Gulf dying, etc. etc. etc..... the sky is falling drumbeat. Its greatest disservice is to those not in the know. There must be some purpose or logic to it, what are they really trying to do?
“I`m coming to the sad conclusion that libs are correct in that most conservatives don`t give a rats ass about this planets environment.”
Aside from that odd coming out of the closet posting, back to this thread, how did you get from methane oxygen depletion over to “from dead birds and oil in the marshes”? Good example of what many here contend.