I thought it was great that microbes were cleaning up oil companies' mess. But now a new study suggests that bacteria only consumed half of the methane from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers who did earlier work don't agree. They believe the new study was affected by methane trapped in shallow water.
I suspect we'll never know for sure what happened with the 2010 spill, but humans shouldn't rely on nature to clean up our mess. Since microbes are clearly helpful I think oil companies need to put more money into understanding how they respond.