Research press release


Nature Geoscience

Persistent high water-column methane levels after Gulf of Mexico blowout


Samantha Joyeたちは、最初の流出に引き続く9か月間のメタン酸化細菌の活動と水中のメタン濃度を測定した。彼らは、メタン消費速度は5月と6月初めに急激に上昇したが、孔口からは依然としてメタンが放出されていたにもかかわらず、6月後半には減少したことを発見した。その結果、メタン存在量は少なくともその年の終わりまで上昇したままであった。

関連するNews & Viewsの記事で、Evan Solomonは、「水中での細菌のメタン呼吸は温室効果ガスが大気に放出される前の最後のフィルターであり、局所的な低酸素と海洋酸性化をもたらしうる」と述べている。

A significant fraction of the vast amounts of natural gas injected into the water column during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was not consumed by bacteria by the end of August, as had been thought, concludes an article published online in Nature Geoscience. Instead, the activity of methane oxidizing bacteria declined rapidly before the discharge from the wellhead was finally shut down, suggesting that factors other than methane availability regulate the ecosystem response to a spill.

Samantha Joye and coauthors measured methane concentrations in the water column along with the activity of methane-oxidizing bacteria in the nine months following the initial spill. They found that rates of methane consumption rose rapidly in May and early June, but collapsed in late June - although methane was still being released from the wellhead. As a result, elevated methane levels lingered until at least the end of the year.

In an accompanying News and Views article, Evan Solomon writes, “Microbial respiration of methane in the water column is the last filter before the greenhouse gas is emitted to the atmosphere, and could lead to local hypoxia and ocean acidification”.

doi: 10.1038/ngeo2156


メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週各ジャーナルからの最新の「注目のハイライト」をまとめて皆様にお届けいたします。