"Bacteria Gobbled Methane From BP Spill: Scientists"

"Bacteria ate nearly all the potentially climate-warming methane that spewed from BP's broken wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico last year, scientists reported on Thursday.

Nearly 200,000 tons of methane -- more than any other single hydrocarbon emitted in the accident -- were released from the wellhead, and nearly all of it went into the deep water of the Gulf, researcher David Valentine of the University of California-Santa Barbara said in a telephone interview.

Bacteria managed to take in the methane before it could rise from the sea bottom and be released into the atmosphere, but the process contributed to a loss of about 1 million tons of dissolved oxygen in areas southwest of the well."

Deborah Zabarenko reports for Reuters January 11, 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011