Gulf Coast Science Cafe Message Board › could hydrocarbon deposits be the next ozone layer?

could hydrocarbon deposits be the next ozone layer?

Kay R.
NavarreKay
Pensacola, FL
Post #: 2
Someone in the audience at the science literacy cafe asked a question about what “purpose” hydrocarbons have in the ecosystem and at first I didn’t really understand the question, but on the ride home I was thinking about it and it occurred to me that maybe she was asking whether hydrocarbons function in the ecosystem in such a way that their absence might have consequences. Like ozone—who would have thought that oxygen interacting with ultraviolet light in the stratosphere would end up altering the ecosystem to such a point that life as it has evolved couldn’t continue without it. Is it possible that hydrocarbons lying around in tar pits and oil seeps and other formations that allow them to interact naturally with the environment, might be part of some similar evolutionary symbiosis?
Andre` "Buz" R.
user 13399159
Pensacola, FL
Post #: 2
I serioulsy doubt this idea. Unlike the ozone layer being effected, not by oxygen, but chloro-floro-carbons added to it, which then creates a new effect, I don't think that oil deposits created by bio-degradation of bio life, has any purpose what so ever, other than being a toxic mess to the living earth, ie. witness the Gulf spill. It's simply an effect of a natural cause. Just because some preach an all "purpose"-- world view, does not mean all things in the world have a good purpose. The effect of the cause of bio-degradation is petro hydro-carbons that for now are causing an immense problem with our planet. To think that they have a "purpose" down in the ground as to, like lubricating the tectonic plates is somewhat unique, but let's get a grip on what is a real issue. Perhaps with their total removal all the earths plates will collapse and the earth will be smaller in diameter. Yikes!
Kay R.
NavarreKay
Pensacola, FL
Post #: 3
Nothing in nature has a purpose, but everything in nature has consequences. The question is whether the consequence is significant or not. I don't know enough about the chemistry of hydrocarbons to say one way or another whether they interact with the environment in any natural way (ie, lying around in pools or venting to the atmosphere) that may have serious consequences once that interaction stops. Speaking with no knowledge on the subject whatever (always fun, isn't it?) I can't imagine we'd ever consume ALL hydrocarbons. I mean, there will always be cow patties, right?
Powered by mvnForum

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy