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Posted Mon Jun 14 2010: from Science:
What the Gulf Disaster Could Tell Us About Sudden Global Warming
Oceanographer John Kessler of Texas A&M University, College Station, and his colleagues have been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation for a research cruise on the R/V Cape Hatteras, to measure concentrations of methane gas. Methane makes up about 40 percent by mass of what's spewing out of the well, according to measurements by BP.... But the burst well has also become an unlikely scientific windfall for Kessler, who studies natural methane seeps and their link to rapid climate change.... "Knowing if it's 1 percent or 90 percent that makes it out to the atmosphere will be a very big discovery for us," says Kessler. If the methane stays dissolved, it could trigger a feeding frenzy among microbes, he says. Their consumption of oxygen could create hypoxic zones and have "a serious influence on biodiversity at those times as well,"... Given the disaster unfolding in the gulf, says Kessler, "if we can make a little lemonade out of the lemons we've been given, then at least maybe some good will come of this."
[Read more stories about: methane release, oil issues, dead zones]

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'Doc Jim says:
I'm not sure I'd call methane plumes "lemonade."

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