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Question Regarding Hurricanes/Lightning & The Leak

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posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:07 PM
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I haven't seen this posted anywhere, but it could very well be nested within another post and I wasn't able to locate it. If that's the case, I apologize.

I was just reading about hurricanes sweeping through the Gulf, and it got me wondering about something. When the first hurricane of the season blows in, is there any chance that the lightning could ignite the gas that has been released as a result of the oil leak? And if so, anyone have any idea how much of the gas could be ignited?

It's probably nothing major to worry about, but I'm really curious about whether or not we could see some unusual phenomena as a result of having potentially flammable substances swirling around the eye of a hurricane.




posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:09 PM
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Very good question, this crossed my mind briefly today. Sorry I have no idea what could happen - hoping someone else can give us some information on this!



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:18 PM
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obviously there are quite a few variables, but generally speaking in a perfect system that is only composed of oxygen and methane gas the concentration of methane would need to be 5-15%. Anything lower than five is too lean and higher than 15 is too rich.

So, for lightning to ignite the air over the gulf would require a lot of methane to be present in the atmosphere. I would suppose that if that were the current case currently then the controlled burns they are doing would ignite the methane in the air.

However, if there were to be a massive release of natural gas and you have a hurricane come through a "perfect storm" of events could conceivable occur. As other threads have alluded to the phase change from ice to liquid to gas of methane moving from the sea floor to the atmosphere has a lot of variables (pressure, temperature, and volume) that have to be taken into account as well.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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Very hard to say for sure.

It would depend upon whether the storm tracks over a highly charged patch of water.

Some areas have been tested at 1 million times normal amount of methane. If the wind churns those waters and releases the gas to the air...who knows? Maybe we'll see a hurricane spit fireballs, after all.

I'm more concerned that the gases will be blown ashore in concentrations high enough to cause deaths of small animals and the very young and very old.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman
I'm more concerned that the gases will be blown ashore in concentrations high enough to cause deaths of small animals and the very young and very old.



i agree with this... it is always the less glamorous alternative that gets you. In fact, if your scenario were to develop into something more serious with plant life on land dying off due to the gas concentrations or something along those lines... we then may wish a giant fireball had just incinerated us all.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:39 PM
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You don't need a hurricane over the Gulf to get lightning. Thunderstorms are nearly an everyday activity this time of year. What might be more interesting to see is a funnel cloud (waterspout) suck up a large amount of oil and THAT be ignited with a lightning stroke.



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by Rich Z
 


Oh my, I hadn't even thought about a waterspout. Thank all of you for your input - but for some reason I don't feel much more at ease.



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 12:29 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I feel silly having not thought of thunderstorms accomplishing the same thing with lightning. I guess this is going to be a simple matter of wait and see. Let's hope for the best, for our sake and for the sake of nature and all other living things.



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 12:32 AM
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The oil would have to reach a 'flash point' , where the %age mixtures of oil and oxygen are optimum for ignition from the lightening.

I reckon there would be too much water in the mix for that to happen.

But if it did, then think like the experiments in high school where you made hydrogen and set a match to it.

Just on a bit bigger scale.

MM



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