scientists have vastly underestimated

This damagest the anti-frackers and anti-NG leaks groups.

“COLUMBUS, Ohio–A study of a Lake Erie wetland suggests that scientists have vastly underestimated the number of places methane-producing microbes can survive — and, as a result, today’s global climate models may be misjudging the amount of methane being released into the atmosphere.

In the journal Nature Communications, researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues describe the discovery of the first known methane-producing microbe that is active in an oxygen-rich environment.

Oxygen is supposed to be toxic to such microbes, called methanogens, but the newly named Candidatus Methanothrix paradoxum thrives in it.

In fact, 80 percent of the methane in the wetland under study came from oxygenated soils. The microbe’s habitat extends from the deepest parts of a wetland, which are devoid of oxygen, all the way to surface soils.

“We’ve always assumed that oxygen was toxic to all methanogens,” said Kelly Wrighton, project leader and professor of microbiology at Ohio State. “That assumption is so far entrenched in our thinking that global climate models simply don’t allow for methane production in the presence of oxygen. Our work shows that this way of thinking is outdated, and we may be grossly under-accounting for methane in our existing climate models.

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