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Why the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup basically didn't work

ATHENS, GEORGIA — Research led by a team at the University of Georgia shows that the chemical agents used to remove oil from the ocean's surface after the 2010 BP oil spill didn't fully degrade the oil and instead suppressed microbes in the water that would have been more effective in cleaning up the oil. After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and leaked 210 million gallons of oil into the ocean, authorities worked for months just to contain the spill. Corexit oil dispersant, a chemical agent that breaks up oil into smaller clusters, was sprayed from planes. Although the water affected appeared to be getting cleaner month after month, researchers say that a closer look at the bacteria and chemicals in the water proves otherwise. Corexit has affected populations of oil-eating microbes in the Gulf called marinobacters. A bacteria less effective at digesting oil, called colwellia, digested the Corexit, and their populations have since multiplied, while marinobacter populations have dwindled. It's still unclear whether the marinobacter populations dwindled because of the direct effect of the chemical agents, or because they are being outcompeted by the colwellia bacteria. Consequently, Corexit has slowed down the natural breaking down process of oil in the ocean and hampered overall cleanup efforts. Previous studies have shown that microbes removed about 43 to 61 percent of the spill, while the rest of the oil either sank to the bottom or remains unaccounted for. This study comes just months after BP agreed to pay $18.7 billion to settle all economic and environmental claims made by four states and 400 local governments.----------------------------------------­­---------------------Welcome to TomoNews, where we animate the most entertaining news on the internets. Come here for an animated look at viral headlines, US news, celebrity gossip, salacious scandals, dumb criminals and much more! Subscribe now for daily news animations that will knock your socks off.Visit our official website for all the latest, uncensored videos: http://us.tomonews.netCheck out our Android app: out our iOS app: top stories delivered to your inbox everyday: connected with us here:Facebook @tomonewsus @tomonewsus

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