In Antarctica discovered a leak of methane, which could accelerate global warming

In Antarctica discovered a leak of methane, which could accelerate global warming

the Diver at the bottom of the Ross sea

Millions of years ago, in the time of dinosaurs, now cold Antarctica it was a warm place, where there were large trees and dinosaurs lived. However, over time, the air temperature on the southernmost continent of our planet began to fall, which led to the deaths of local animals and plants. The decayed remains were under a thick layer of ice, where millions of years processed by bacteria in the process, which has created quite a lot of methane gas, which is one of the main causes of global warming. For a long time, a dangerous gas held under ice due to the cold but in 2011, the space Agency NASA announced, what ever this mass may escape to the outside, and greatly affect the climate worldwide. It seems that this terrible process started.

For the First time methane leak in Antarctica about ten years ago, near the volcanic Ross island. Scientists fears were confirmed when scientists from the U.S. state of Oregon established under the ice tools for the detection of greenhouse gases. A major leak was discovered at a depth of 10 meters, but because of what it happened, nobody knew. It would be logical to say that the leak was triggered , however, anomalously high temperatures have not yet had time to warm the Ross sea to such an extent that the ice began to pass gas.

For a leak, besides evidence of scientific instruments, specifies the behavior of marine bacteria. At the bottom of the Ross sea, one can notice the presence of white areas — they are formed by microorganisms that feed on methane. Basically, we are talking about bacteria of the family Methylococcaceae, which was long considered to be our defenders. The fact is that if our planet and there are places through which methane escapes into the air, these microorganisms prevent its spread in too large quantities. However, with educated at the bottom of Antarctica leakage they clearly can't handle.

See the white portions of the bottom? It — absorbing the methane bacteria

According to the researchers, the bacteria simply was later discovered the source of methane. To these creatures could save us, they need to get used to new conditions, and it can take from 5 to 10 years. But during this time, the methane can significantly affect the climate of our planet. Many people believe that the so-called greenhouse effect, which warms our planet more than the norm and allows it to cool off, caused due to contact with carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In part, this is true, but in this process plays an important role and methane.

And all because in terms of heating the gas much stronger than carbon dioxide. To enable people to understand the difference between the dangers of carbon dioxide and methane, scientists give the following example. Imagine that in one year in the atmosphere of our planet got a kilogram of methane and carbon dioxide. So, for 12 months, one kg of methane will warm our planet is 80 times stronger than the same amount of carbon dioxide. To fight greenhouse gas emissions, the second is more complicated due to the fact that much of it. Methane, things are easier because its smaller, but it is stronger than fueling the greenhouse effect and we have to act quickly.

the Bottom of the Ross sea with methane-eating bacteria.

How to reduce methane emissions into the atmosphere, is not yet clear. This greenhouse gas into the air and at fault people, it is widely used as fuel. We also know that huge amounts of methane produced in the digestive system of cows. According to some researchers, every day, every living on our planet cow produces about 500 liters of methane. Also, this gas enters the atmosphere during oil production.

Recently, researchers from the Global Carbon Project reported that methane production in the world greatly increased. So, if in the beginning 2000-ies in the air were thrown out on average, 324 million tons of greenhouse gas per year, by 2017, humanity began to annually produce about 364 million tons of methane. Read more about this study and the hazards of methane is possible .


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