Thursday, July 8, 2010

How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a 'world-killing' event (3 articles)

by Terrence Aym

Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions.

251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. [1] Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world. [2]

55 million years later another methane bubble ruptured causing more mass extinctions during the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM). 

The LPTM lasted 100,000 years. [3]

Those subterranean seas of methane virtually reshaped the planet when they explosively blew from deep beneath the waters of what is today called the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, worried scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events that led to worldwide death back then may be happening again-and no known technology can stop it.

The bottom line: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years. 

The oil giant drilled down miles into a geologically unstable region and may have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble.

Ryskin’s methane extinction theory

Northwestern University's Gregory Ryskin, a bio-chemical engineer, has a theory: The oceans periodically produce massive eruptions of explosive methane gas. He has documented the scientific evidence that such an event was directly responsible for the mass extinctions that occurred 55 million years ago. [4]

Many geologists concur: "The consequences of a methane-driven oceanic eruption for marine and terrestrial life are likely to be catastrophic. Figuratively speaking, the erupting region "boils over," ejecting a large amount of methane and other gases (e.g., CO2, H2S) into the atmosphere, and flooding large areas of land. Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life, and also produce great amounts of smoke and of carbon dioxide..." [5]

The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe—of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it-would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water.

Such occurrences can lead to the rupture of the methane bubble containment—it can then permit the methane to breach the subterranean depths and undergo an explosive decompression as it catapults into the Gulf waters.  [6]

All three warning signs are documented to be occurring in the Gulf.

Ground zero: The Gulf Coast

The people and property located on the greater expanse of the Gulf Coast are sitting at Ground Zero. They will be the first exposed to poisonous, cancer causing chemical gases. They will be the ones that initially experience the full fury of a methane bubble exploding from the ruptured seabed.

The media has been kept away from the emergency salvage measures being taken to forestall the biggest catastrophe in human history. The federal government has warned them away from the epicenter of operations with the threat of a $40,000 fine for each infraction and the possibility of felony arrests.

Why is the press being kept away? Word is that the disaster is escalating.

Cracks and bulges

Methane is now streaming through the porous, rocky seabed at an accelerated rate and gushing from the borehole of the first relief well. The EPA is on record that Rig #1 is releasing methane, benzene, hydrogen sulfide and other toxic gases. Workers there now wear advanced protection including state-of-the-art, military-issued gas masks.

Reports, filtering through from oceanologists and salvage workers in the region, state that the upper level strata of the ocean floor is succumbing to greater and greater pressure. That pressure is causing a huge expanse of the seabed-estimated by some as spreading over thousands of square miles surrounding the BP wellhead-to bulge. Some claim the seabed in the region has risen an astounding 30 feet.

The fractured BP wellhead, site of the former Deepwater Horizon, has become the epicenter of frenetic attempts to quell the monstrous flow of methane.

The subterranean methane is pressurized at 100,000 pounds psi. According to Matt Simmons, an oil industry expert, the methane pressure at the wellhead has now skyrocketed to a terrifying 40,000 pounds psi. 

Another well-respected expert, Dr. John Kessler of Texas A&M University has calculated that the ruptured well is spewing 60 percent oil and 40 percent methane. The normal methane amount that escapes from a compromised well is about 5 percent.

More evidence? A huge gash on the ocean floor—like a ragged wound hundreds of feet long—has been reported by the NOAA research ship, Thomas Jefferson. Before the curtain of the government enforced news blackout again descended abruptly, scientists aboard the ship voiced their concerns that the widening rift may go down miles into the earth. 

That gash too is hemorrhaging oil and methane. It’s 10 miles away from the BP epicenter. Other, new fissures, have been spotted as far as 30 miles distant.

Measurements of the multiple oil plumes now appearing miles from the wellhead indicate that as much as a total  of 124,000 barrels of oil are erupting into the Gulf waters daily-that’s about 5,208,000 gallons of oil per day. 

Most disturbing of all: Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal. [7]

Mass death on the water

If the methane bubble—a bubble that could be as big as 20 miles wide—erupts with titanic force from the seabed into the Gulf, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will immediately sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists participating in the salvage operation will die instantly. 

Next, the ocean bottom will collapse, instantaneously displacing up to a trillion cubic feet of water or more and creating a towering supersonic tsunami annihilating everything along the coast and well inland. Like a thermonuclear blast, a high pressure atmospheric wave could precede the tidal wave flattening everything in its path before the water arrives. 

When the roaring tsunami does arrive it will scrub away all that is left.

A chemical cocktail of poisons

Some environmentalist experts are calling what’s pouring into the land, sea and air from the seabed breach ’a chemical cocktail of poisons.’ 

Areas of dead zones devoid of oxygen are driving species of fish into foreign waters, killing plankton and other tiny sea life that are the foundation for the entire food chain, and polluting the air with cancer-causing chemicals and poisonous rainfalls.

A report from one observer in South Carolina documents oily residue left behind after a recent thunderstorm. And before the news blackout fully descended the EPA released data that benzene levels in New Orleans had rocketed to 3,000 parts per billion. 

Benzene is extremely toxic and even short term exposure can cause agonizing death from cancerous lesions years later.

The people of Louisiana have been exposed for more than two months—and the benzene levels may be much higher now. The EPA measurement was taken in early May. [8]

Doomsday

While some say it can’t happen because the bulk of the methane is frozen into crystalline form, others point out that the underground methane sea is gradually melting from the nearby surging oil that’s estimated to be as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most experts in the know, however, agree that if the world-changing event does occur it will happen suddenly and within the next 6 months.

So, if events go against  Mankind and the bubble bursts in the coming months, Gregory Ryskin may become one of the most famous people in the world. Of course, he won't have long to enjoy his new found fame because very shortly after the methane eruption civilization will collapse.

Perhaps if humanity is very, very lucky, some may find a way to avoid the mass extinction that follows and carry on the human race.

Perhaps.
…………

Sources

[1] The Permian extinction event, when 96% of all marine species became extinct 251 million years ago.

[2] “The Day The Earth Nearly Died,” BBC Horizon, 2002

[3] Report about the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM), which occurred around 55 million years ago and lasted about 100,000 years. Large undersea methane caused explosions and mass extinctions.

[4] Ryskin Theory
Huge combustible clouds produced by methane gas trapped under the seas and explosively released could have killed off the majority of marine life, land animals, and plants at the end of the Permian era—long before the dinosaurs arrived.

[5] James P. Kennett, Kevin G. Cannariato, Ingrid L. Hendy, Richard J. Behl (2000), "Carbon Isotopic Evidence for Methane Hydrate Instability During Quaternary Interstadials," Science 288.

[6] “An awesome mix of fire and water may lie behind mass extinctions

[7] “Methane in Gulf 'astonishingly high'-US scientist

[8] Report: “Air Quality - Oil Spill” TV 4WWL video

Links

BP engineer called doomed rig a 'nightmare well’”

History Channel Mega Disasters - Methane Explosion

BP Official Admits to Damage Beneath the Sea Floor"


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 The fragility of the British Petroleum disaster in the gulf of Mexico could be the straw that broke the camel's back. The disaster far exceeds the Valdez oil spill back in the 80's and with no end in sight, very well could be the disaster of the century. With British Petroleum looking at falling stock prices in the market and citizens around the world looking at higher oil prices in their future. There is very little positive things to come from this disaster.

The ecology of the ocean environment is a fragile Eco-system in itself. Coral reefs and fish and plant life all depend on the sun's ability to generate sunlight. In turn the coral reefs that surround the coast of Florida and other coastal areas are in danger from the oil that blocks out the Sun's light. When coral dies there is no turning back the clock and in a chain reaction of events, other ocean life dies as well. The food chain is limited by predator fish eating prey fish that are contaminated by the oil. Toxins and flora carbons destroy the habitat and the food chain for decades to come. There are definitely no winners if you live near or in the oceans of the gulf.
 The currents of the ocean along with seasonal hurricanes distribute the oil to a vast area all around the world. The oil spill will affect world economy due to commercial fishing. Triggering more unstable economy pressures around the world. Contamination of inlets of rivers meeting the ocean will not be spared. The marshes that house and feed many forms of wildlife in coastal areas will fly back north and contaminate inland areas and lakes they call home. The distinction of many species of birds and other animals will fall prey to the effects of the oil spill in the gulf.
 Millions of people around the world will feel the effects of the BP oil spill. There will be political unrest in many regions around the world as they put the blame on BP for causing this global event and not stopping it sooner. The United States will be scrutinized because of their lack and inability to act and not accept outside intervention to help. The political red tape is endless in disasters such as this. Political favors due to elections have stopped much of the progress here in the United States, because of unions keeping out foreign oil skimmers from the gulf. I agree that oil skimmers are not the answer to a quick fix in the gulf, but they could buy precious time when getting the gushing oil stopped.
 Pristine beaches that rely on clean white sand to attract vacationers, will now have to work feverishly to clean up the oil balls that lay about the sands along the coast. Economic set backs could cause many states and countries to falter, and with America exceeding the national debt in all areas. There could be economic down falls because of the disaster. It is a negative against a negative in global succession with oil disasters like BP and the economy on top of it all that could set off a chain of global events the world has never seen before.  
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by Christy Ivers
Could B.P. disaster end life as we know it? MAD MAEX theory signals Methane Accumulated Disaster and Marine Accelerated Extinctions
 The extent of the B.P. oil spill disaster may not be known for decades.  In the event of planetary catastrophe the damage may never be known at all—there may be no life left to record the events.  This could become the first, and last, known man-made triggered planetary disaster.
 As a result of the broken well head and leaking methane gas in the B.P.  Deepwater Horizon disaster, massive extinction history could explosively repeat itself.  The Methane Accumulative Disaster and Marine Accelerated Extinctions, MAD MAEX, could end life on earth, or could signal a chance for humanity to learn from the harsh lessons of history.  It happens when a  massive methane bubble grows and bursts.
 Professor Gregory Ryskin, a bio-chemist at Northwestern University, has worked many years on studies of previous accelerated extinctions.  The Permian extinction, recorded as the most destructive on record, occurred 251 million years ago, and the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum, LPTM, occurred 55 million years ago.  The more recent LPTM suppressed life for approximately 100,000 years.
 Today in the gulf, massive build up of methane gas has been recorded.  Within a five mile radius of the broken well head emissions of 60% oil and 40% methane gas has been documented.  Oceanographer   John Kessler reports these levels as “astonishingly high.”He has documented fluxes of marine methane in various oceans worldwide with geochemical analyses, discovering this is an anomaly of significant proportions.
 An undersea bulge has been reported over several thousand square miles of the seabed. If such pressure were to build out of control disaster would be imminent.  Methane bubble explosions followed by sea floor rupture, tsunami, poison atmosphere, and mass die of both marine and land based life would follow.
Relief workers in the area are issued state of the art gas masks and protective gear as needed.  In the event of methane explosions of the magnitude in a worse case scenario, death would be instantaneous and widespread.  Resulting toxic clouds would smother the entire gulf region which would be ground zero for any planetary scale catastrophe.
Today in the gulf reports on all fronts are dismal.  Industries dependent upon marine life, fisheries, and coastal protections of the buffer zones of wetlands are threatened, and debate rages over regulation and moratoriums on drilling.  The region is heavily dependent upon oil industry, and it is doubtful natural extinctions several million years ago will be taken into consideration.   The advent of the hurricane season has drawn more attention and monitoring of the region as meteorologists join other marine and industry scientists now at work.  Dismal as this is, a  far worse planetary apocalypse is not on the radar of most people who are already distracted and stressed with technical, toxic, and bureaucratic limitations.
However, at present marine life is suffering most, at present, with reports of destruction and death from the smallest phytoplankton to the largest whales in the region.  Seabirds and wetland nesting areas affected severely.
 Waterworld is known as a Costner career disaster.  The 1995 film stars Kevin Costner, in a post apocalyptic world after the time of global climate change has drowned most land in rising oceans.  The movie was not warmly received.  Ironically, perhaps, Kevin Costner and his brother Dan have invested in “Ocean Therapy” technology which may prove to separate oil from water and contribute to the clean up in the gulf.   Meanwhile, environmentalists worldwide are hoping our dependence upon dirty fuels is at last being seriously considered in its full costs to all life.
 Whether from the lessons of pre-history, or from the realms of box office fiction, or from science, technology, the oil industry itself, or environmentalists, several remedies are being pursued.  Red tape, political posturing, regulatory issues appear to have created frustration and helplessness for many, while the gulf region lives and dies day by day.