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[科学美国人60秒] 【整理】SSS 2008-07-02

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 on byatbj07

 

This is Scientific Americans Sixty Seconds Science. I'm Karren Hopkin. This will just take a minute.


Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat even better than carbon dioxide. It comes from a variety of sources including fossil fuel production or even farming. Cows give off methane you know, after they eat.

 

Even the surface waters of the ocean contains substantial amounts of this gas. But where marine methane comes from was a mystery until now. Scientists collected sea water of the coast off Hawaii. And they found the bacteria that're living in these waters scarf up certain phosphorous-containing chemicals.And their released methane is a by-product. The results appear online in the journal Nature Geo- Science.

 

What's surprising is that scientists previously thought that methane is only produced by bacteria that live in places where there is no oxygen. Think of the smell associated with a swamp or with the muck at the bottom of a murky pond. This marin methane could contribut to global warming by adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. What's worse, the hotter it is, the more stressed these sea-faring bacteria get and the more methane they're likely to put out which was certainly not the kind of feedback that atmosphere scientists were hoping to get.

 

Thanks for the minute for Scientific Americans Sixty Seconds Science. I'm Karren Hopkin.
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