“Recovery time can be centuries, or not at all” for Gulf of Mexico dead zones

The unseen disaster, Austin American Statesman, June 27, 2010:

Underwater clouds of oil and methane gas have now been confirmed as originating from the BP blowout after weeks of denial. …

Researchers studying the clouds have found concentrations of methane up to 10,000 times greater than normal and oxygen levels depleted by 40 percent below normal.

This means organisms in the sea are suffocating and explains why microbes that require oxygen to break down the oil are not cleaning the spill naturally. Worse is that there are likely long-lived “dead zones” drifting through the Gulf and perhaps over deep-water ecosystems where recovery time can be centuries, or not at all. Other, larger clouds have been reported, and a large-scale and coordinated effort is searching for more. …


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