Bacteria ate up methane from Gulf spill, say scientists


Bacteria consumed the methane released from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico within about four months, say scientists.


“It was remarkable. We had gone out there assuming that there would be plenty of methane still there and the fact was that it was all gone,” Discovery News quoted John Kessler of Texas A & M University in College Station, as saying .


The team had seen a different picture when they sampled the area in June 2010, before the July 15 sealing of the well. Methane levels were high, dissolved in plumes about two-thirds of the way to the sea floor, and decomposition rates were low.


“It seemed that methane would be there for a much longer time period, possibly several years,” said Kessler.


But when the team returned in three cruises between Aug. 18 and Oct. 4, expecting to track the slow degradation of methane, they found that it all was gone. Concentrations had returned to background levels.





Source: Indian Express, January 07, 2011.


























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