Recently scientists from NASA and Open University in the United Kingdom set out to study how acid rain affects the methane gas that comes from wetlands in the U.S., England and Sweden.
Scientists went into natural wetlands because although most methane is produced by human activities, a large amount actually comes from natural wetlands. The concern with methane is that it’s a greenhouse gas that contributes to warming our planet. The researchers discovered that low levels of sulfate, which is in acid rain, actually block some bacteria found in wetlands from producing methane. Dr. Vincent Gauci of Open University, United Kingdom, lead author of the study, said "We wouldn’t want to give the impression that acid rain is a good thing - it has long been known that acid rain damages natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, rivers and lakes. But our findings suggest that small amounts of pollution may also have a positive effect in blocking this important greenhouse gas."
In the wetland study areas, scientists applied several quantities of sulfate, similar to the amounts found in acid rain. The results, acquired over several years, showed that low doses of sulfate reduced methane emissions by 30 to 40 percent. What determines how much methane is produced in wetlands? The answer lies under the microscope. Carbon, heat and moisture are known to influence methane production by single-celled bacteria called Archaea. Under normal conditions, these bacteria "eat" carbon in the soil for energy and release methane as a byproduct. But, many types of bacteria thrive in the wetland environment. When sulfate from acid rain is in wetlands, another type of bacteria that reduce sulfates can out-compete the Archaea, and help limit the amount of methane they produce.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
New mathematical model can help save endangered species
14.01.2019 | University of Southern Denmark
Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
17.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2019 | Information Technology
17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy