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1. Of the spilling material, 40% by weight is natural gas.
2. The main chemical component of this natural gas is methane.
3. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas and the seafloor worldwide stores massive amounts of methane.
4. This spill is too small to influence the methane content in the atmosphere and thus will not influence modern climate.
5. Massive eruptions of natural gas from the seafloor have occurred in the geological past and this spill simulates one of those eruptions. Thus we can study this spill to understand if these previous (natural) massive eruptions in the past influenced climate and how they might behave in the future.
6. Microorganisms in the water eat natural gas and methane. This process consumes oxygen dissolved in the water. We will measure how much oxygen is being removed by natural gas and methane in the waters of the Gulf.