Feeds

Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth

Sauropod emissions blow away cows, came close to modern methane volumes

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Giant herbivorous dinosaurs may have emitted sufficient methane to warm the Mesozoic  climate, according to a new paper in Current Biology.

The new theory, expounded in the article Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive Mesozoic climate warmth? starts by advancing a theory that very large, long-necked dinosaurs, aka sauropods, walked the Earth in greater numbers than previously assumed. The paper also cites research suggesting that sauropod metabolisms were quite fast and concludes that the giant creatures could therefore have been rather efficient makers of methane.

After a few calculations about likely sauropod prevalence and plant intake, methane emissions of modern cattle, and consideration of historical records about methane's prevalence in the Mesozoic era, a theory is advanced that there were enough sauropods emitting sufficient methane to have an an impact on ancient climates, thanks to the fact that Methane is a more potent greenhouse case than carbon dioxide.

The article even goes so far to suggest that sauropod flatulence made almost as much methane than modern sources such as cattle farming and agriculture, which have been fingered as one of the likely causes of anthropogenic climate change.

Sauropod Emissions

The three researchers who penned the paper aren't blaming the Mesozoic's warm, wet climate entirely on sauropods and write that “wetlands, forest fires, and leaking gasfields” may also have contributed to the presence of atmospheric methane at the time. But the trio do note that the advent of sauropods would not have been possible without a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere and the warming it created, as this created an environment which plants thrived which in turn created numerous ecological niches for giant herbivores. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.