Diminishing life saving oxygen levels at Gulf oil plume


 BP oil spill from deep water rig is the biggest oil spill in the history of United States.  BP oil leak has affected the lively hood of many places along with Gulf of Mexico region, especially New Orleans, which depends on sea food industry.  A recent report voiced concerns about the health of people who are involved in cleaning of the oil spill.  The report says that the oxygen content in water is going down.      

Samantha Joye, marine scientist, University of Georgia revealed that the underwater oil spill is affecting the oxygen concentration level in parts of Gulf of Mexico.  The level of drop is not enough to affect the marine life, yet, but it could reach to dangerously low levels.     

 How much drop in oxygen concentration was observed?
Dr. Joye analyzed the water samples within the oil plumes and estimated that the drop in oxygen concentration is 1-2% per day.     

How much time would it take for oxygen level to drop to dangerous levels?
Dr. Joye estimated that at the measured rate, it would take...

months for levels before it becomes hazardous for fish and other marine life.     

What is the reason for the loss of oxygen?
Oil spill is accompanied by release of tremendous amount of methane gas due to ruptured deep water oil well.  Also, microbes feeding on methane consume oxygen.  

Dr. Joye said that certain regions can potentially depleted to such low levels that they would form “dead zones” with so little oxygen that nothing could survive in those conditions.     
 BP oil spill is under constant criticism for past two months and partly due to some insensitive statements passed by CEO Tony Hayward.  As the time progresses, containment of the oil spill becomes more and more critical to avoid health hazards to clean up workers and marine life, who want their life back.      



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