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Methane in Gulf - 100,000x higher than normal (SOURCE)

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posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 08:56 AM
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It seems that the despite BP having the blown-out well "in our sights", the problems they have created know no bounds. I wonder how they're going to clean this up?

Link to Reuters




Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high."

Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead. "There is an incredible amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal. "We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations" in some areas, Kessler said.



[edit on 6/25/2010 by atlguy]




posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:00 AM
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This is so huge!
I feel only the cats tail is out of the bag.
When this beast is out, be prepared for catastrophic
consequences.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by atlguy
 


There is no doubt that the GOM is going to be a complete dead zone.

100,000 times higher?? Is this primarily in the water? And could these gases move on shore? Exactly how dangerous is this for those of us living on the coastlines?



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by atlguy
 


BTW your title states 10,000, correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't it read 100,000?



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by Seraphina
reply to post by atlguy
 


BTW your title states 10,000, correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't it read 100,000?


LOL - Yep. Not enough Java this AM!
Thanks!



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:04 AM
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If you check my signature you will find a thread that explains how 7 x the dually amount of NYC emissions are being leaked each day...


And half of that makes it to the surface



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:10 AM
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At the 5 mile radius tested, it doesn't surprise me that its that high given the amount of methane being released. Still, its a tiny portion of the overall Gulf and doesn't really give an accurate picture of the overall contamination level. The bigger question is, how high are the methane levels at 50, 100 or 200 miles?



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by vor78

At the 5 mile radius tested, it doesn't surprise me that its that high given the amount of methane being released. Still, its a tiny portion of the overall Gulf and doesn't really give an accurate picture of the overall contamination level. The bigger question is, how high are the methane levels at 50, 100 or 200 miles?


That is 5 miles - surface level. Methane causes microbes to deplete the oxygen levels in the water. One can only wonder at the massive dead-zone this level of methane will create in the water itself. As the article states, check back in a week for further findings

[edit on 6/25/2010 by atlguy]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by atlguy
 


They tested both the surface water and deep water.

This will undoubtedly create a dead zone around the site itself extending some number of miles. The question is how large will it be? To that extent, its worth noting that they also reported oxygen depletion levels of anywhere between 0% and 30%. It suggests that even though the methane does have a serious impact, it also takes very large amounts of it before it becomes significantly dangerous.

Considering that every time you double distance from the site, water volume will increase by a factor of four (assuming equal depth), this also means that methane concentrations *should* decline rapidly with distance from the source This is why I think the longer distance measurements will be more telling.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:43 AM
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Additionally, one other point I'd make about the oxygen depletion levels. The scientist guy says they aren't sure why there's no depletion in some areas around the well and 30% in others.

I have theory why that is. Microbes thrive on the methane, and that's what causes the oxygen depletion, right? Well, what happens when you dump Corexit and other dispersants on the microbes? Probably the same thing that happens when you dump it on anything else alive in the Gulf.

[edit on 25-6-2010 by vor78]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by vor78
what happens when you dump Corexit and other dispersants on the microbes? Probably the same thing that happens when you dump it on anything else alive in the Gulf.

[edit on 25-6-2010 by vor78]


Excellent theory - I wonder if it has been thought of outside of ATS.

Drop them an e-mail



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:00 AM
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Let's just hope this doesn't happen:


History Channel Mega Disasters - Methane Explosion:

www.youtube.com...

[edit on 25-6-2010 by manta78]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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the microbes thrive on methane and produce oxygen. 60-70% of the worlds oxygen supply come from the sea.

if you kill the microbes then not only does less methane get absorbed, less oxygen is produced.

these methane levels will eventually lead to a huge depletion of oxygen locally, not too mention that once the oil makes it into the gulf stream(which i believe it already has) it will kill off these methane eating-oxygen producing algae; leading to even further depletions of oxygen worldwide.

for everybody who was worried about global warming before, methane has 21 times the heat-trapping potential of co2.

Suffice it to say, killing off the oxygen-producing algae in any manner is bad news- whether it be with corexit, or oil.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by vor78
 

What you say makes good horse sense and is likely true.

The actions of water currents need to be factored in as well. It makes sense that any water-borne pollution (including methane) will be more prevalent in currents that are moving into the leak area, through it, then away from it. These currents then carry some of this pollution away, but in an "unbalanced" manner, so that not all water in the vicinity will be polluted to the same extent.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by des9996
the microbes thrive on methane and produce oxygen. 60-70% of the worlds oxygen supply come from the sea.

if you kill the microbes then not only does less methane get absorbed, less oxygen is produced.

these methane levels will eventually lead to a huge depletion of oxygen locally, not too mention that once the oil makes it into the gulf stream(which i believe it already has) it will kill off these methane eating-oxygen producing algae; leading to even further depletions of oxygen worldwide.

for everybody who was worried about global warming before, methane has 21 times the heat-trapping potential of co2.

Suffice it to say, killing off the oxygen-producing algae in any manner is bad news- whether it be with corexit, or oil.


Methane might be 21 times the heat trapping then Co2 but methane is heavyier then air and settles on the floor. correct me if im wrong but i belive its the oil the microbs eat not methane.

I hear storys that the methane on the sea floor if it get hotter it will rise and create dead zone of air and who ever gets traped in it will die from no O2



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by atlguy
 

I am wondering if this will cause a mad surge in foliage growth? 'they' certainly are glossing over this epic beast. I monitor the media as much as anyone, and when I look, there's no talk of air composition. Joran should walk, says his attorney without a name. That kills a little time, creates a media vacuum.

I recall a somewhat triste story by T Pynchon, in which a couple of characters simply watched the oxygen deplete from the atmosphere, slowly. Not sure if it was a dream in a dream or what. I could have misinterpreted the story.

Good to see al gore's been hit. It was inevitable that he should lose pow-ah~ even God bucked the farce pretty loudly (that means everyone got to see).

The weather.
The weathergate emails.
The car-bon burdens which are engraved on our legislature's heart like a tattoo...it is huge money for them. Plus, they are insider betting.

The constant theme of shame, deeply ingrained, in being a life form.

All this gas...the vegetation will change in many ways...I suppose if earth deals with it, then it won't be given any play. Always for the team.

There's a scene in The Godfather. Kate is plying Tom for info on Michael. He says 'I can't take that letter, Kate', because it would imply knowledge.

Maybe it's as simple as that. If they whip out the gas masks, then they have 'knowledge', and as such they are in a quandary. How do they do it...how do they do it...?


[edit on 25-6-2010 by davidmann]

[edit on 25-6-2010 by davidmann]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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Methane is slightly lighter than air so slowly diffuses upward.
The microbes which consume it need O2 to process it down to CO2 once the microbes have consumed all the O2 they will die and release more methane.
In the short term microbial decomposition is futile until the well quits spewing toxins.
Then microbial decomposition will have an effect but only as long as there is O2 for the microbes to metabolize with the hydrocarbons.
I for one am far more concerned about the H2S than the CH4 .methane will suffocate you and burn, H2S we used to call "one breath death" as we suited up in air-packs to retrieve dead cattle from around wells that burp it in the central California oil fields. This binds permanently to ones hemoglobin making your blood unable to carry O2.
Most O2 is produced at the surface by phytoplankton using photosynthesis this of course will be disrupted by the excessive gasses and the decomposition of the oil slowed with the depletion of O2.
No doubt it will be the microbial life that ultimately deals with this crap but it will be sorely hampered in the short term by the extreme conditions and concentrations of the hydrocarbons.
Concentrations of benzine and H2S have already been shown at unhealthy levels and will continue to rise until the well quits gushing.

N.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:23 AM
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well i think we both got a little confused.

there is algae-which turns light energy and water into oxygen-this is where a large percentage of earth's oxygen comes from.

there are also oil-eating microbes which break down oil into safer byproducts.

Methane depletes oxygen levels, something that both of these require to survive. Corexit is a toxic chemical which would most likely kill both of these.
Crude Oil and related chemicals/gases are capable of killing the algae.

So, however you look at it- oil=less oxygen, corexit=less oxygen, methane=less oxygen. Which overall means the longer this continues unchecked the more quickly the overall oxygen-producing capacity of the earth and her creatures is being depleted.

Yes it is heavier, but like you said it rises with heat, or the ocean could just get saturated and then release it in a large "explosion" but it doesnt matter how it makes its way into the atmosphere the point is it will, eventually.

There has always been large methane-hydrate fields on the seafloor, something disrupted them in the past- and the result was the Permian-Triassic extinction event which killed off 95% of all life on earth. It took millions of years for earth's biodiversity levels to return to pre-extinction level.
The following is an excerpt from an essay i wrote for Eng102(only 3 years ago lol)

“Ninety-six percent of all marine species and seventy percent of terrestrial vertebrae species [became extinct.]” Approximately 251 million years ago, life on Earth came frighteningly close to extinction, during the event known as the Permian-Triassic extinction event, informally referred to as the Great Dying. Hardest hit were the marine species, in which only four percent of existing aquatic life survived. Almost six-million years passed before regular levels of biodiversity returned. While the exact cause remains in dispute, one widely accepted theory references “[t]he flood basalt eruption which produced the Siberian Traps [and] was the largest known volcanic event on Earth and covered over 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles) with lava.” These eruptions occurred in a coal rich area, the heating of which caused extremely large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane to be released into the air, leading to extreme global warming of up to 5°-7°C. In turn, this warming was enough to “sublimate solid methane hydrate[s]” that were present in millions of tonnes on the ocean floor(“Permian-Triassic extinction event”). Today, the warming predicted by the Arctic Council would be sufficient to sublimate the nearly 400 gigatons of methane locked in clathrates (forms of methane and other gases locked in ice formed by great pressure) in the arctic tundra. This could easily lead to a similar chain of events in the near future(Atcheson).

Atcheson , John. "Ticking Time Bomb." Baltimore Sun 15 Dec 2004 27 Feb 2007 .

"Permian-Triassic extinction event." Wikipedia. 24 Feb 2007. 27 Feb 2007 .

edits to fix link

[edit on 25-6-2010 by des9996]

[edit on 25-6-2010 by des9996]




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