Will human life be wiped out by a BP-induced methane eruption? No.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Brett Michael Dykes
Wed Jul 14,2010

Let’s just get this out of the way now: The BP oil disaster, while horrible in innumerable ways, is not literally the end of the world.

If you’ve spent any considerable length of time on the Internet lately — and not just its dark conspiratorial alleys — you may have run across a number of geological reports that read like the plot of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie: BP may have haphazardly tapped into a violent reservoir of methane gas deep below Earth’s surface, possibly setting off a chain of events that could lead to release of a “methane mega-bubble” capable of triggering floods of biblical proportions and emitting poisons into the atmosphere, effectively wiping humans off the face of the Earth.

You’re now probably wondering if it’s time to start frantically compiling a bucket list of things to do before we’re all killed off by a methane eruption. However, according to an expert interviewed by Yahoo! News, such doomsday predictions are “extreme” and highly unlikely to take place.

“I wouldn’t believe that at all,” Gregory Stone, director of the Louisiana State University Coastal Studies Institute, told us. “There’s a lot of press out there in regards to this event that is just inaccurate. We’ve got some of the best scientists in the world here, and we’re not concerned about that scenario at all.”

Another prominent scientist we contacted thought that the reports were such hogwash that he declined to even offer a comment to refute them.

So what’s the root of all these apocalyptic scenarios that some news sources have given credence to? Well, most of them seem to trace back to a single scientist, Gregory Ryskin, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Northwestern University. Ryskin published a paper in 2003 titled “Methane-driven oceanic eruptions and mass extinctions” in which he theorized that “mass extinction can be caused by an extremely fast, explosive release of dissolved methane,” an eruption that would release “deep anoxic waters that cause extinctions in the marine realm,” with extinctions on land brought about by “explosions and conflagrations that follow the massive release of methane” and by “eruption-triggered floods.”

In other words, we could all die from a massive earth fart.

The Rest…HERE

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