Climate clues from oil-leak methane

  • January 10, 2011 | Alex

    As I’m particularly interested in the environment, my ears pricked up when I heard that nearly all the methane released by the Gulf of Mexico oil leak was devoured by marine bacteria. In four months these hungry bugs gobbled up 200,000 tons of the climate-warming greenhouse gas before it could enter the atmosphere.

    Vast quantities of methane are locked in the frozen Arctic seabed. This discovery could help predict what will happen to the Arctic climate if the methane is released as the sea warms.

    This research appears in the 7 January 2011 issue of Science, the journal of AAAS, the non-profit society.

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Image of Gulf of Mexico oil leak

Satellite image of Gulf of Mexico oil leak

Image: NASA Enlarge
 

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