What happened to the BP deep-sea oil plumes in the Gulf? The bugs ate it!

No really – Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria. The key word is Indigenous (meaning native or natural). From the abstract:

The biological effects and expected fate of the vast amount of oil in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon blowout are unknown due to the depth and magnitude of this event. Here, we report that the dispersed hydrocarbon plume stimulated deep-sea indigenous {gamma}-proteobacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degraders. Hydrocarbon-degrading genes coincided with the concentration of various oil contaminants. Changes in hydrocarbon composition with distance from the source and incubation experiments with environmental isolates demonstrate faster-than-expected hydrocarbon biodegradation rates at 5°C. Based on these results, the potential exists for intrinsic bioremediation of the oil plume in the deep-water column without substantial oxygen drawdown.

Most people don’t know it but there is oil seepage over much of the ocean floor. Bacteria have evolved that “eat” the oil. Don’t those environmentalists believe in evolution? More at Science News.

Okay, it is not certain but at least the findings are getting peer review. Which is more than can be said for Global Warming. Notice that many of the critics are commenting from their ivory towers and not actually doing “in the sea” research.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Share/Bookmark

Related posts:

  1. More on Gulf oil plumes
  2. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil leak
  3. Deep water drilling – some history
  4. Deepwater Horizon – Leak Rate and Oil Plumes
  5. Sen. Jim Bunning R-Ky. asks – What happened to PAYGO?

Leave a Reply