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Mankind threatens global methane emissions?

January 17 2006

The recent discovery of German scientists can flip the prevailing notions of Biochemistry, the global carbon cycle and mechanisms of climate change on our planet. According to researchers, green plants emit methane.

The fact is that compared to the pre-industrial levels of methane in the atmosphere has almost tripled. In recent decades, conducted in-depth study and taking into account all sources of atmospheric methane. It was believed that there is only one biological process in which methane, and only one group of organisms - archaea.

In 2005 it was discovered abnormally high levels of methane above tropical evergreen forests. Scale anomalies testified about the existence of unaccounted-for source of methane into the atmosphere through which additionally received 30-40 million tons of fuel gas.

It turned out that plucked leaves emit from 0.2 to 3 ng of methane per gram dry weight of green mass per hour, and whole plants by 1-2 orders of magnitude greater. The process takes place in the presence of oxygen, death to archaebacteria. These sensational facts show that living plants without the involvement of microbes synthesized methane. If the data obtained during the experiments are not a mistake, scientists will have to reconsider existing ideas about the biochemistry of plants and causes of climate change.

Methane - the most important representatives of organic substances in the atmosphere. Its concentration is significantly higher than the concentration of other organic compounds. In the 60's and 70's the amount of methane in the atmosphere increases at a rate of 1% per year, and this was explained by economic activity of mankind

Methane is second only to carbon dioxide absorption efficiency of heat radiation of the Earth. The contribution of methane to the greenhouse effect is about 30% of the value adopted for carbon dioxide. With the growth of methane modify the chemical processes in the atmosphere, which can lead to deterioration of ecological situation on Earth. Naturally, the question arises about how to manage physical and chemical processes in which methane is involved. However, management processes directly into the atmosphere on a global scale is impossible.

Today we have witnessed a gradual warming of the climate, though much slower pace than previously estimated. Raising the temperature of the planet will affect the increase in the flux of methane, since the change in temperature by one degree changes the intensity of methane in the microbial processes (wetlands, rice paddies, landfills) by about 10%. Potentially dangerous source of methane, which can include an increase in temperature - is methane hydrates. Stocks methanehydrates enormous. Methanehydrates concentrated at depths from 500 to 2000 meters from the shores of some continents, usually on the steep underwater slopes. There he was in the Arctic, as evidenced by seismic measurements, and drilling.

Rising temperatures will cause destabilization methanehydrates and begin their decay, which is sometimes seen today. Increased revenue stream of methane in the atmosphere will cause a further acceleration in the increase in atmospheric temperature, which will have huge negative consequences.

According to forecasts of climate scientists from Tomsk State University, the pace of global warming may increase dramatically due to the rapid melting of permafrost in Western Siberia.

p align = "justify"> permafrost zone covers an area of one million square feet, comparable to the combined area of Germany and France. Greatest in the world of frozen peat bog 11,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period. Now, scientists say, the first time since its inception, the permafrost began to melt. The process began three or four years ago.

Scientists fear that in the process of melting of a bog can be released into the atmosphere billions of tons of methane, which gives the greenhouse effect and influence on the atmosphere is twenty times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Western Siberia heats up faster than anywhere else on the planet. Over the past 40 years, the temperature there has increased by nearly 3 degrees. Of particular concern of scientists is permafrost. In the process of melting it opens up a pure land, which heats up faster than ice and snow than accelerates the thaw.

Siberian peat bogs produce methane from its inception at the end of the last glacial period, but much of this gas is kept as permafrost. To the permafrost melted completely, take many decades, so the methane will not be isolated in an atmosphere of one outlier.

However, even if methane is leaking from the permafrost over the next hundred years, each year it will add to the environment about 700 million tons of carbon. Content in the atmosphere of this gas will double, causing global warming by 10-25%.

Time to think about there, and it is necessary to take urgent action, according to climatologists. Otherwise, the process of global warming will become unmanageable and lead to social, economic and environmental disasters worldwide.

On materials:,, Kompyulenta

See also:

Face of the Earth is changing ... Will her man's place?

"Before the Flood": the Earth is not more than 8000 years?

Antarctica drastically reduced

Global warming and the battle for the Arctic depths

And other materials heading "Be in the know".

Константин Дятлов

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