Agriculture
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Fast-flying fungal spores
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Polar Bears in Trouble
New Mammals
Glimpses of a Legendary Woodpecker
Behavior
Taking a Spill for Science
Nice Chimps
Math is a real brain bender
Birds
Parrots
Cardinals
Kingfishers
Chemistry and Materials
Earth from the inside out
Makeup Science
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
Computers
Programming with Alice
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Nonstop Robot
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
Mini T. rex
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
A Global Warming Flap
Ancient Heights
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Environment
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Snow Traps
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Finding the Past
Chicken of the Sea
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Your inner Neandertal
Fish
Electric Ray
Marlin
Tuna
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Recipe for Health
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
It's a Math World for Animals
Math is a real brain bender
Math Naturals
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Disease Detectives
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Invertebrates
Leeches
Tarantula
Black Widow spiders
Mammals
Kodiak Bear
Marmots
Minks
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
One ring around them all
Speedy stars
Plants
Sweet, Sticky Science
A Change in Leaf Color
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Tortoises
Komodo Dragons
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
World of Three Suns
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Gravity Tractor as Asteroid Mover
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Troubles with Hubble
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Watering the Air
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Add your Article

Plant Gas

You may have never heard of methane, but there's a lot of it out there. Cows emit the gas, which is produced by bacteria in their stomachs. Methane also wafts up from the wet soils in swamps and rice paddies, where methane-producing microbes live. Now, an international team of scientists has found another, unexpected natural source of methane: plants. Previously, researchers had thought that it was impossible for plants to make significant amounts of the gas. They had assumed that microbes need to be in environments without oxygen to produce methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide. Gases such as methane and carbon dioxide trap heat in Earth's atmosphere and contribute to global warming. In their experiments, the scientists used sealed chambers that contained the same concentration of oxygen that Earth's atmosphere has. They measured the amounts of methane that were released by both living plants and dried plant material, such as fallen leaves. With the dried plants, the researchers took measurements at temperatures ranging from 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) to 70 degrees C (158 F). At 30 degrees C, they found, a gram of dried material released up to 3 nanograms of methane per hour. (One nanogram is a billionth of a gram.) With every 10-degree rise in temperature, the amount of methane released each hour roughly doubled. Living plants growing at their normal temperatures released as much as 370 nanograms of methane per gram of plant tissue per hour. Methane emissions tripled when living and dead plant material was exposed to sunlight. Because there was plenty of oxygen available, it's unlikely that the types of bacteria that normally make methane were involved. Experiments on plants that were grown in water rather than soil also resulted in methane emissions. That's another strong sign that the gas came from the plants and not soil microbes. Altogether, the world's plants produce more than 150 million metric tons of methane each year, the scientists estimate. That's 20 percent of all the methane that typically enters the atmosphere. Future tests will measure how much of an impact plant-produced methane actually has on the environment.—E. Sohn

Plant Gas
Plant Gas








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™