Remember the giant plume of oil lingering in the Gulf that was left in the aftermath of the BP spill? Some reports are saying that the Manhattan-sized plume isn't going anywhere for awhile, while others are claiming that it's been eaten away by giant microbes. Huh?
In the latest issue of the journal Science, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have given their findings on the 650-foot-high plume of oil that resulted from the blown out well. Their report is based on research done during a scientific cruise from June 19-28, saying that deep-sea microbes were eating the oil, but at a very slow pace and that it would be there for a long time to come.
Richard Camilli of WHOI's Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department, chief scientist of the cruise and lead author of the paper stated, "We've shown conclusively not only that a plume exists, but also defined its origin and near-field structure. Until now, these have been treated as a theoretical matter in the literature."
Okay, that's believable. But, get this: reports released in the last few days say that the plume has been "consumed by a newly discovered fast-eating species of microbes." (Reuters)