Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying

Recommended Posts

Story here.

Not exactly the Gulf of Mexico, but a large area of along the Upper Texas and Louisiana coast that carries the sediments of the Mississippi.

I was born and raised on the Upper Texas Coast (in the Beaumont - Port Arthur area) and I know the area well.

The Gulf of Mexico's currents run counter-clockwise at a fairly strong rate and it pulls the Mississippi and Atchafalya river basin sediments to the west of the Mississippi Delta and along the coast. Because there is so much sediment, the water is muddy and not very attractive. Added to that, there is a fair amount of natural pollution from oil reserves below the water located in enormous salt domes (contrary to what many believe, the oil drilling in the Gulf and on the Texas-Louisiana coast actually helps relieve the pressure of the petrochemicals below the land and water and reduces direct natural pollution). This combination of man-made pollution from agricultural chemicals and natural pollution (from silt and petrochemicals) causes these dead zones.

The Gulf of Mexico's ecosystem is very resilient and will make a strong recovery this fall. But farmers and homeowners need to work toward using natural soil amendments instead of all the excessive nitrates that upset the ecosystem.

Edited by TexasWill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought there might be a thread about the current Gulf of Mexico situation, but this old thread was as close as I could get, but probably the most apropos. A friend posted this on his Facebook page this morning...

bp.jpg

Anyone here live on the Gulf who has been affected by the spill?

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Darryl. That is really, really creepy.

Know what else is creepy?

This.

Edited by Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Darryl. That is really, really creepy.

Know what else is creepy?

This.

Wow... a few weeks ago, to my wife, I jokingly made the comparison of the potential ramifications of BP oil spill to Kurt Vonnegut's Ice-nine substance from his book Cat's Cradle. Doesn't seem too funny anymore.

For those who haven't read the book, Ice-nine is an artificially created substance that can instantly freeze water whose temperature is below 45.8 C (114 F). Works great in a controlled area, but once introduced into a natural environment where water pretty much connects everything, it spells global disaster.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I went to the Wikipedia article on the Permian extinction event, and found that the "methane bubble" theory is only one of a few that have been proposed to explain the extinction event in question; the Wikipedia article even says that the notion that the Gulf of Mexico was the epicenter for this extinction event is one of the "more speculative" of the theories out there.

I also ran the Helium.com article by my dad, and he replied, in part:

Could a methane bubble have done it?  Perhaps.  But I'm not sure the scale of this disaster is big enough to have that effect.  Remember, up to now the oil released is maybe a bit more than in the last big oil spill in the same Gulf, that one being done by Pemex in 1979.

Pemex is a (Mexican) government agency and therefore can't be sued, so it paid much less than BP has already committed toward compensation or remediation. Nevertheless, most people today have forgotten that event and the evidence is almost all gone - sun, wind and wave have largely evaporated the lighter part of the oil and sunk the heavier part on the bottom.

Some of the data in the article smacks of having being handled by those who do not understand it.  One section uses the expression "pounds psi"; the "pounds" is redundant since psi means "pounds per square inch).  My experience is that articles with obvious errors like that often get more important things wrong too.

You may remember that BP's first attempt to collect oil from the broken wellhead was to fit a large, loose-fitting metal hood over it, but that didn't work because it filled up with methane hydrates.  That's because at the depth (pressure) and temperature that prevail at the wellhead, methane mixes with sea water to form a slurpee-like mixture.  Many places in the ocean have deposits of these methane hydrates, and they seem to be stable.  In fact, some companies propose to mine them, bringing them up to the surface so their methane is released and can be sold as natural gas.

One point in the article is, however, well supported by theoretical research (but I don't think it has ever actually been observed),  IF a giant methane bubble was released under the ocean and rose through the water, the mixture of water and methane would be significantly less dense than pure sea water, and ships in the neighbourhood would sink.  This mechanism has been proposed to explain mysterious sudden sinkings of ships in cases where accident and piracy can be ruled out.

Bottom line: Continue to live in hope.  Science uncovers a lot of facts, but this article also has a lot of speculation.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reminds me of one of the Hopi prophecies from Koyaanisqatsi...

"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."

:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...