Dino farts warmed early climate

Mesozoic methane emissions from dinosaurs could, according to new calculations, have produced more of the notorious greenhouse gas than all modern sources – both natural and man-made – put together. The research, published inCurrent Biology, suggests the emissions could have significantly heated the already wet and warm climate.

Sauropod dinosaurs, say the researchers, were similar to cows, in that methane-producing microbes aided their digestion by fermenting the vegetation they ate. “A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,” explained researcher Dave Wilkinson, of Liverpool John Moores University.

Wilkinson and co-researcher Graeme Ruxton, from the University of St Andrews, were studying sauropod ecology when a question dawned on them: If modern cows produce enough methane gas to be of interest to climate scientists, what about sauropod dinosaurs?

Animal physiologists have studied methane production from a range of modern animals to derive equations that predict methane production based on the total mass of the animals in question. The researchers based their calculations on a medium-sized sauropod weighing around 20,000 kilograms, and population densities ranging from a few large adults to a few tens of individuals per square kilometer.

They then calculated that global methane emissions from sauropods would have been 520 million tons (520 Tg) per year, comparable to total modern methane emissions.

Before the industrial age, about 150 years ago, methane emissions were roughly 200 Tg per year. By comparison, modern ruminant animals, including cows, goats, and others, contribute methane emissions of 50 to 100 Tg per year. The researchers say the study’s conclusions; “serve as a useful reminder for the importance of microbes and methane for global climate.”

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Methane’s Effect On Climate Change May Be Twice Previous Estimates
Melting Siberian Peat Bogs May Unleash Huge Quantities Of Methane
Pleistocene Era Methane Adds To Greenhouse Misery
The Dino Dynasty Reconsidered

Source: Current Biology

, ,

Comments are closed.
Methane Termite with Water Bubble Enhydro in Authentic Dominican Amber Fossil
$14.95 Methane Termite with Water Bubble Enhydro in Authentic Dominican Amber Fossil  picture
1963 Futuristic Liquid Methane Tanker Ship art Inco Nickel vintage print Ad
$9.99 1963 Futuristic Liquid Methane Tanker Ship art Inco Nickel vintage print Ad picture
Vintage photograph of Mr Methane
$24.9 Vintage photograph of Mr Methane picture
Vintage photograph of Methane Gas:
$14.9 Vintage photograph of Methane Gas: picture
Photograph of Methane Gas:A swiss farmer
$14.9 Photograph of Methane Gas:A swiss farmer picture

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes