Bacteria Prevent Release of Ocean Methane

According to research, paired microbes in the oceans prevent the release of methane in the atmosphere by consuming it.

How do they do this?

It's a two step process.

Single celled organisms eats the methane in ocean sediments and produces a methane compound (methyl sulfide) and then bacteria (that live with the first organism) that eat methyl sulfide eat it and reduce it to sulfide. If this process didn't take place, there would be a lot more methane in the air, and the temperature of our atmosphere would be about 14 degrees higher.

My take on this is threefold:

1 - Climate scientists are looking at the methane gas released by bogs and lakes; if there is a way to use or locate similar bacteria in bodies of fresh water, there may be a way to slow methane release into the atmosphere from these freshwater sources.

2 - This bacteria may be useful in industries that generate excess methane - pump it through colonies of methane-eating bacteria.

3 - I knew that striking a match in the bathroom gets rid of lingering odors - now I know it's because of the sulfur!

Source of information : http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-01/ps-pme011108.php


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