Tiny Bubbles: Oldest evidence yet for methane makers | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Tiny Bubbles: Oldest evidence yet for methane makers

10:33am, March 22, 2006

Analyses of the gases dissolved in water trapped in ancient minerals suggest that methane-generating microbes have been around almost 3.5 billion years, more than 700 million years longer than previous geologic evidence had indicated. Because methane prevents the loss of heat from Earth, the gas generated by those microbes could explain how the planet kept warm during the Archaean era even though the sun then produced less than three-fourths the radiation that it does today.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content