Sunday, June 27, 2010

What About the Super Sized 1000-year Methane Old Bubble?

Apparently "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," is something to be concerned about...very concerned,  because methane, in addition to its explosive properties, on a 20-year time scale - as a greenhouse gas - is 56 times more potent, metric ton for metric ton, than carbon dioxide.
Methane or CH4 gas is being released in vast quantities in the Gulf waters. Seismic data shows huge pools of methane gas at the location immediately below and around the damaged "Macondo" oil well. Methane is a colourless, odourless and highly flammable substance which forms a major component in natural gas. This is the same gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. The "flow team" of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil.

12 scientists from the Texas A&M University, who have been running tests in the area within a 5 mile radius of the drill site, have found levels of methane in the ocean that are through the roof. In some pockets of the ocean the concentrations of methane gas levels are up to 100,000 times the norm and even more incredibly up to 1 million times higher.
The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

BP and Transocean were warned, a little over a year ago, that putting their exploratory rig directly over the area of seabed containing this massive super-sized bubble of methane  might be unstable and inherently dangerous. 


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