Latest Issue of Science News


News

Tiny Bubbles: Oldest evidence yet for methane makers

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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.