From: Ohio State University
Published November 20, 2017 01:47 PM

Researchers pin down one source of a potent greenhouse gas

A study of a Lake Erie wetland suggests that scientists have vastly underestimated the number of places methane-producing microbes can survive—and, as a result, today’s global climate models may be misjudging the amount of methane being released into the atmosphere.

In the journal Nature Communications, researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues describe the discovery of the first known methane-producing microbe that is active in an oxygen-rich environment.

Oxygen is supposed to be toxic to such microbes, called methanogens, but the newly named Candidatus Methanothrix paradoxum thrives in it.

In fact, 80 percent of the methane in the wetland under study came from oxygenated soils. The microbe’s habitat extends from the deepest parts of a wetland, which are devoid of oxygen, all the way to surface soils.

Read more at Ohio State University

Photo: Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve.  Photo by Jordan Angle, courtesy of The Ohio State University.

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