Another Doomsday scenario.

How much credence can we give to this one, Dopers?

How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a ‘world-killing’ event.

Let’s quote the article a bit:

Now, notice that these are two distinct sentences. They assert that methane caused death, but don’t provide any source for that information. Then they mention that lots of animals died during a particular time, but don’t actually say that anyone thinks that methane is that cause.

Apparently we only actually have one person making this claim.

What percentage is “many”? 0.1% of all geologists could still be a thousand people. That is “many”, but not significant.


Looking through the Wikipedia page on the first extinction event referred to in the article, the methane theory is but one of half a dozen.

So we die by farting?

Wasn’t that the premise for a South Park episode?

I thought it was Beavis and Butthead.

It’ll either kill us or it won’t. If it doesn’t, there’s nothing to worry about. If it does, there’s nobody to do the worrying. I’m kinda hoping they woke up Godzilla’s Cajun Lizard Bro.

Here’s an article that suggests this guy has been pushing his methane bubble theory since at least 2007, and it does mention that it’s controversial. Sounds like he’s probably just using the headline of the day to get attention.

Not to mention that things that happened before people began writing stuff down about them don’t count as being “in the history” of the world.

What about dogs and cats living together?

Seriously, though, although there is some scientific basis to to the notion that there have been releases of methane from ocean beds in the past, these mainly have to do with the frozen form known as methane hydrates in sediments just below seabed, which has nothing to do with the state of methane gas in the reservoir contributing to current blowout. The author clearly knows next to nothing about the mechanics of such events, much of anything about geology, hydrocarbon reservoirs or even, apparently, basic facts about the Deepwater Horizon blowout itself.

The linked article is overflowing with with absurd exaggerations. Here are a few:

I presume they are referring to the relief well currently being drilled by the Development Driller III. Nothing is gushing from that borehole. If formation fluid were gushing from the well, the well would be blown out, like the first one. Since the DD III apparently has not turned into a ball of fire and sunk in the past few days, I conclude that the above quote is pure bullshit.

There is nothing called “Rig #1” participating in the relief effort. If they are referring to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship, which is doing most of the fluid recovery from the blown-out well, well duh. Methane, benzene, and hydrogen sulfide are common components of hydrocarbon reservoirs in general. While personnel on board do have to wear respirators in some areas, they are not ‘military issued’ and this is a normal precaution that would have to be taken with any case where large amounts of raw reservoir fluids are being brought to surface and processed.

Someone who has no clue what they are talking about may indeed be making such a ridiculous claim, but so what? A single, seven inch borehole has caused thousands of square miles of seabed to rise thirty feet? What was the magical power of this particular well, rather than any of the other thousands of wells drilled in the reason since the 1960s, to cause such a widespread event?

There isn’t a known hydrocarbon reservoir anywhere in the world that is pressured to anywhere near 40,000 psi, much less 100,000 psi. Reservoir pressure prior to the blowout (at approx, 13000 feet below seabed), has been widely reported as around 12000 psi. The highest estimate I’ve seen for pressure at the subsea wellhead during the blowout has been around 8000 psi and at this time is probably considerably less. Even at reservoir depth, 40,000 psi would far exceed the pressure exerted by the rock overburden and thus is simply an impossible condition.

Lastly, as far as I can tell, none of the links in the article lead to references supporting any of the wild claims made. The link for Matthew Simmons, for example, simply leads to his Wikipedia entry, which, while it mentions some questionable claims he’s made about the DW Horizon blowout, says nothing about the 40,000/100,000 psi figures.

So, absolute shite, from beginning to end. Y’all can safely ignore it.

Unless it’s scheduled to erupt in December of 2012, then I can’t give it much credence.

This being ivan’s thread, I’m sure he thinks if it DOES happen, it’ll be an inside job, a la 9/11.

What are pounds psi? I can’t think of any meaningful physical quantity that would be measured in square pounds per square inch.

Well, that just means we’re doomed, squared!

Its the straw that tickled Cthulu’s back.

What if you had a giant pile of pound cakes? I think the units of pressure under the bottom of that pile would work out.

Just don’t eat too much cake, or it’s girdles all the way down.