Thursday, July 29, 2010

Microbes Saving BP (NYSE:BP) and Gulf?

A lot of liberal pundits laughed and mocked when it was suggested at the beginning of the BP (NYSE:BP) oil spill that the microbes in the water, i.e., the Gulf itself, could take care of a large portion of the oil being spilled into the ocean.

That didn't agree with the narrative though, so it generated ridicule and faux outrage at the idea that the situation may possibly be under better control than thought.

This isn't to excuse the circumstances or diminish the damage and cost to the people of the area economically, but it does show there's lot more truth to the assertion than was being allowed in the public discourse on the matter.

Suddenly there is admission from scientists and professors that, indeed, the fact there isn't much oil being found now that the leak is contained is probably the result of the heavy concentration of oil-eating microbes in the area.

When delving into the question of where the oil is, there are several possibilities, with all probably contributing factors.

One is there is the evaporation process which will remove some of the oil from the waters. That is especially true of what Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University, called the "more toxic components of oil."

Evaporation could account for up to 40 percent of the oil that is disappearing from the Gulf.

Although some have theorized some of the oil has settled into sediments on the floor of the Gulf, where it could cause the most damage if it was true, the reality is this isn't part of the Gulf scenario, as one report cited by Yahoo news noted that "federal scientists [have determined] the oil [is] primarily sitting in the water column and not on the sea floor."

What is thought to be the reason behind the inability to find a large amount of oil is it's simply gone. A number of researchers believe it's the microbes in the Gulf of Mexico, which are extremely prolific, that has done the oil in.

The natural release of oil into the Gulf has been happening for as long as people know. That has generated a large number of microbes which feed on the oil leaking into the ocean, and were prepared for what they consider an abundance of food.

These microbes get all hot and bothered by the hydrocarbons in oil, and use it to reproduce and grow. The result is a huge surge in the population, which continues to gorge on the oil.

Why this is especially the probable cause of the missing oil in this case is, the warm waters of the Gulf are especially conducive microbes, which grow far faster in the warm waters than they do in colder water.

Proof that this is what is happening comes from Samantha Joye, microbial geochemist at the University of Georgia, who notes the oxygen levels in portions of the Gulf which had had a lot of oil in it has went down. Since microbes need oxygen to consume oil, it is conclusive evidence they're working overtime to eat the excess oil.

The dispersant used so effectively in the Gulf is also considered part of the reason for the quickly disappearing oil as it relates to the microbes. Breaking up the oil makes it easier for microbes to quickly eat the oil, which is what the dispersant does, and the microbes seem to like to take a bite out of the dispersant too.

All that show of having thousands of boats out there to appease the media and those that want to "feel" something is being done, was largely a waste of time, counting for at most, about 2 percent of the oil being cleaned up. And that's on the top end of the estimate. It's probably much lower than that.

While it's obviously too early to know the extent of the damage from the oil, it is important to note it could be far less than originally anticipated, and that would be good news for everyone involved, including BP and other oil companies in the region.

For liberals, they need to learn to get their facts and stories straight before mocking and laughing at those who actually have connections to the industry and understand the power of nature to mend herself. We're seeing it happen before our eyes. I guess she's not politically correct.

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