General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is this article about the BP situation bogus(I hope so...)?

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21 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

first article posted was wrong…correct article now posted

Nullo's avatar

Keep in mind that beyond a certain point, history becomes a series of educated guesses.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I need more credible information about what is actually happening and what verifiable effects are occurring before I jump on some chicken little band wagon.

Am I upset about BP’s cavalier attitude and lack of preparation to deal with such a spill. You bet!

mammal's avatar

i read this article, it amused me because i remember when Helium began and was surprised when this article made the Google news, i think it’s important to remember that Helium is a pretty amateurish site with contributions from the general public from what i remember, secondly i think the article indulges in Apocalyptic sensationalism that is ultimately distracting. It is far more more effective to express the mundane and most likely consequences of the BP oil spill in as dire a way as possible without the biblical dramatics. My guess is that we are more likely to die a slow poisonous death and slide back into the tar pit, so to speak, than go out with some kind of uber flatulent bang :)

Ltryptophan's avatar

so this is hype?

kevbo's avatar

There are very few facts to be had with this whole story, and even if the blowout was contained today, there’s no telling what the repercussions are. This doesn’t even include other natural mega-disasters that have nothing to do with the gulf that are possible.

That being said, I’m sure it’s within the realm of plausibility. The event has caused enough concern that the Navy has moved a sizable chunk of it’s fleet to Costa Rica (although the reason given is to provide aid in the war on drugs).

It certainly is a lot of info to absorb, and I appreciate you bringing it up.

ETpro's avatar

@Ltryptophan Great question. A massive methane release is certainly possible. It is actually the real doomsday scenario behind our current concerns with GLobal Warming. THere are trillions of metric tons of methane (a common byproduct of the decay of living matter) frozen into the peat of the Earth’s tundras and solidified as clathrates on the floors of the world’s oceans. All this methane is kept out of the atmosphere because it is cold enough to remain solid. Already, increasing air temperatures are causing release of some of it in the tundras. And methane is 20 times as powerful a green house gas as is CO2. If increasing temperatures raise the lower ocean temperatures reach a tipping point and that methane begins boiling up in the seas, it may destroy most life on earth.

That is why the global warming deniers pouring out junk science to assuer us all that Drill baby drill and even an occasional Spill baby spill is perfectly sensible so infuriates scientists who can see the risks and what a worst-case result would mean for our kids and grandkids.

Nullo's avatar

I have as yet found no reference to the gigantic fissures reportedly found by the Thomas Jefferson.

ratboy's avatar

It’s way too good to be true—the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with a fart of truly biblical porportions.

mammal's avatar

@ratboy well, if we insist on sodomizing the earth, we should expect a little blowback.

Nullo's avatar

@mammal “Organ harvesting” is a more appropriate metaphor .

El_Cadejo's avatar

ahhhh xkcd always relevant.

tedd's avatar

Didn’t even open the article, already very familiar with the methane theory.

Scientifically it is very plausible and possible. The problems are, we don’t know what exact level of pollution it would take to set it off. And its still just a theory.

For instance, theoretically we know how to travel through time thanks to the theory of relativity…. but we don’t really have a way of testing it so we don’t really know for sure.

Reassuring isn’t it?

tedd's avatar

Ok now I’ve read it and I can tell you the writer is an idiot.

First, the biggest mass extinction in the history of the planet was the meteor that killed the dinosaurs.

Second, theres no “bubble” of methane in the depths of the ocean or the planet thats waiting to erupt. Its not a volcano. The methane extinctions of the past were caused by a series of chemical reactions that produce methane, that were self supplying and starting. The theory of the methane kill thing basically says that the mass amounts of chemicals we are putting into our ATMOSPHERE and to some degree our oceans, is having chemical reactions with compounds in the ocean and creating methane. Those reactions create more of the compounds that restart the reaction, and it grows exponentially, until it goes out of control and makes a massive excess of methane that floods the atmosphere and the oceans and kills everything.

It is set off by a tipping point of pollution, NOT by a drilling accident. The oil being poured into the ocean could help in this problem…. But you have to keep in mind that ALL of the oil thats been spilled into the ocean as of yet by the spill, is less than 100,000 barrels (assuming the numbers provided are true) worth… and we use what, 3 or 4 million barrels a day in gas?

There is no methane “bubble” for you to worry about. The methane theory is a real one, but I (and I am a chemist) doubt THIS will be the lone thing to set it off, and if it is then we were close already. The natural impact you should worry about is all the dead sea life from the oil, and things like that.

mammal's avatar

@tedd wait…are you saying that Helium and the article on Methane is nothing but hot air?

syzygy2600's avatar

Yeah, its alarmist bullshit. There is plenty of legitimate things to get upset about in relation to the leak without inventing more.

ETpro's avatar

See Methane Bubble ‘doomsday’ story debunked.. BP’s oil spill isn’t going to cause the end of the world. But there are trillions of metric tons of methane trapped on earth, and a global temperature rise of 6 degrees C could cause Methane Clathrates to become gaseous, bubble up and cause a Venus type runaway temperature increase. That’s a very real, if not so short-term doomsday scenario.

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