Posted: September 14, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Bacteria gobbled 200,000 tons of Gulf spill

Over a period of five months following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, bacteria consumed at least 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

For a study published this week in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers analyzed an extensive data set to determine not only how much oil and gas was eaten by bacteria, but also how the characteristics of the feast changed with time.

“A significant amount of the oil and gas that was released was retained within the ocean water more than one-half mile below the sea surface, says co-author John Kessler, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester. “It appears that the hydrocarbon-eating bacteria did a good job of removing the majority of the material that was retained in these layers.”

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