Deepwater Horizon methane lingered longer than thought

Oil spill’s gas not all consumed by microbes, contrary to previous report

By Gabriel Popkin, 11:17 AM May 13, 2014

Much of the methane released by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout hung around until the end of that year. In a new study of data collected in the months after the spill, scientists report that the numbers of methane-munching microbes plummeted while the gas was still abundant. The result contradicts an earlier report, which suggested that the bacteria rapidly got rid of the seawater’s methane.

After the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010, a huge plume of pressurized oil...

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