Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Seeds of the Future
Amphibians
Newts
Bullfrogs
Tree Frogs
Animals
Little Bee Brains That Could
A Spider's Taste for Blood
Lucky Survival for Black Cats
Behavior
Pondering the puzzling platypus
Internet Generation
Double take
Birds
Songbirds
Doves
Mockingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
Supergoo to the rescue
Atomic Drive
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Computers
Hubble trouble doubled
Look into My Eyes
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Have shell, will travel
A Big, Weird Dino
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Arctic Algae Show Climate Change
Challenging the Forces of Nature
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Environment
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Finding the Past
The Taming of the Cat
Oldest Writing in the New World
Fakes in the museum
Fish
Manta Rays
Electric Ray
Goldfish
Food and Nutrition
Making good, brown fat
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Human Body
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Prime Time for Broken Bones
Cell Phone Tattlers
Invertebrates
Corals
Grasshoppers
Sea Anemones
Mammals
African Warthogs
Rabbits
Bears
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Children and Media
How children learn
Physics
Powering Ball Lightning
One ring around them all
Speedy stars
Plants
A Change in Leaf Color
Seeds of the Future
Fungus Hunt
Reptiles
Pythons
Komodo Dragons
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
Chaos Among the Planets
A Great Ball of Fire
Burst Busters
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Reach for the Sky
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Catching Some Rays
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
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™