Skip to comments.Recirculation aided Gulf plume’s degradation [re:BP spill's rapid disappearance]
Posted on 01/10/2012 8:15:46 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative
Throughout the months-long 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists expressed surprise at the development and relatively speedy disappearance of giant plumes of subsea oil and gas that jetted from the wellhead and refused to surface. A new study explains how bacteria degraded the plumes so efficiently: A succession of hydrocarbon-noshing species mushroomed because their movable feasts were repeatedly replenished.
Only about 15 percent of the BP gusher floated up to form giant surface slicks, a second new study finds. Natural gas constituents and dissolvable chemicals amounting to twice that mass remained near the seafloor, creating the roving cloudlike hydrocarbon plumes on which the bacteria fed.
Besides natural gases, the plumes contained all of several highly volatile crude oil constituents released in the spill, including benzene and toluene. So cleanup workers who say they were sickened by benzene in the surface slick, as evidenced by elevated blood levels of the carcinogen, must have been exposed from other sources, concludes the leader of the second study, Thomas Ryerson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo.
Both studies are being published online the week of January 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
Algore, call your publicist. This must be buried post haste.
This tidbit was especially interesting:
So cleanup workers who say they were sickened by benzene in the surface slick, as evidenced by elevated blood levels of the carcinogen, must have been exposed from other sourcesThis, of course, won't hinder the lawsuits one bit.
Also of interest: Forensic researcher tracks Gulf oil through tar balls
I am absolutely NOT surprised. I made a bet with a Nephew that 20 years from “The Worst Environmental Eisaster of All Time”, no one would think it was a big deal. I didn’t realize would be right so soon.
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, its not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years. --Barack Hussein Obama, June 15, 2010
Pretty good at handling oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.
Prince William Sound, not so much.
Funny how natural substances tend to be absorbed by...uh,...nature.
It’s really a wonder that we have not dumbed ourselves right out of existence by now.
Remember the TV networks showing maps with timelines for when the oil would head into the Atlantic and up the east coast?
oil is organic....who knew?
In other words: our planet is pretty good at taking care of itself, thank you very much.
Years ago, I had an old biology teacher who had a that idea distilled down to its essence.
“Mother Nature is a tough old broad.”
Oil is an organic material, and tons of oil leak naturally every year from the oil-bearing formations in the Gulf. So the mechanism was already in place in warm waters.
Remember the pseudo-scientists that were tracking the great invisible plume?