Monday, August 16, 2010

Chemosynthetic Community Extinction

In 1984 life forms were discovered in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) that resemble those found near vents in the mid-Atlantic Ridge.

They are endangered by the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher remnants, released along with millions of barrels of crude oil, methane, and other hydrocarbons.

The toxic chemical dispersant BP used to keep the oil from the surface added yet another extinction disaster threat to the area.

For the most part British Petroleum, BP, has controlled information about daily events during the time the catastrophe absorbed the news.

Knowledge of dispersant flow, underwater methane flow, and crude oil flow, including plumes, was discovered by independent, private researchers from colleges and universities using research vessels.

One of those marine biologist teams collected data from various places, since government vessels were not tasked with that effort.

Their basic sentiments are:

The Deepwater Horizon wellhead that tapped the Macondo reservoir was capped on 15 July 2010. After the venting of oil and gas into the Gulf waters was stopped, everyone felt a sense of relief. Multiple news outlets have reported that the surface oil has disappeared, for the most part. I read many reports that stated conclusively the oil had been either transferred to the atmosphere (via evaporation) or that it had been consumed by oil-eating microorganisms. Everyone’s reaction was, not surprisingly, ‘what a relief !!’.

Should we be relieved? Is this disaster over?

On the whole, I believe the answer to both questions is no.

(Where Has The Oil Gone). The long term body count now begins, the next phase we are entering will have intense scientific scrutiny mixed with years of litigation in the federal courts.

BP will try to defend itself to the maximum, but who will care for the gulf now?