Articles about methane

Laser surgery ignites internal methane, burns patient down there

Mildly NSFW Tokyo University Medical Hospital has published a pair of reports explaining an incident that left a woman badly burned after surgery. The reports (PDF 1 and PDF 2) , which we've shoved through an online translate-o-tronic machine, tell the tale of a woman who last April underwent surgery known as a cervical conization. The …
The Pasadena Rose Bowl

California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

We're delighted to report that Phys.org has adopted the "Rose Bowl" standard for quantifying improbably large amounts of gas. In this report on the Aliso Canyon gas well blow-out which spewed vast quantities of methane into the Californian atmosphere, before finally being capped on 11 February, the website explains that at the …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2016

Human cost of California gas well leak revealed

The BBC has published an entertaining analysis of the emissions of a blown-out natural gas well near Los Angeles, which is releasing so much methane that LA county supervisor Mike Antonovich was moved over the weekend to describe the disaster as "a mini-Chernobyl". For those of us wondering just how much is "so much", Auntie …
Lester Haines, 12 Jan 2016
Grad James Stevenson, astronomer Jonathan Lunine and chemical engineer Paulette Clancy, with a Cassini image of Titan in the foreground of Saturn, and an azotosome, the theorised cell membrane on Titan. Credit: Cornell University

BOFFINS: Oxygen-free, methane-based ALIENS may EXIST on icy SATURN moon Titan

Scientists believe they have come up with a solid model for a new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that could thrive in the harsh, icy conditions of Saturn's mysterious freezing moon, Titan. The researchers at Cornell University reckon they have come up with "the first concrete blueprint of life not as we know it …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2015

NASA plots methane-detecting laser in SPAAACE

NASA is working on a laser-based instrument it hopes will be able to take flight to measure atmospheric concentrations of important greenhouse gas methane. The work is being led by Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Haris Riris, who collaborated with Jim Abshire of Goddard in developing the CO2 Sounder Lidar (light …
David Bowie life on mars

It's whiff, Jim, but not as we know it: Curiosity sniffs ORGANICS on Mars

Two new papers on the latest data from the compact chemistry laboratory aboard nuclear-tank Curiosity show organic compounds in Mars' atmosphere and rocks – and therefore offer tantalizing clues to the Red Planet's watery past. Youtube Video In the past 20 months Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory has …
Iain Thomson, 17 Dec 2014

Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

A team of researchers has discovered new evidence that as the permafrost layer that covers 24 per cent of the Northern Hemisphere continues to thaw as global temperatures increase, not only does it release more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, but as time goes by the ratio of carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane (CH4) changes …
Rik Myslewski, 9 Apr 2014

Cow FLATULENCE, gas emissions MUCH WORSE than thought - boffins

A new study has revealed that the amount of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent but far less prevalent than CO2 – released into the US atmosphere is significantly higher than previously thought. "We find greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel extraction and processing (i.e., oil and/or natural …
Rik Myslewski, 26 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Martian atmosphere pristine, totally free of fart gas, reports Curiosity

Mars rover Curiosity has taken a whiff of the wind at Rocknest in the Gale Crater - but the Red Planet hasn't been passing the gas the nuclear-powered tank is looking for. Jersey cow A common or garden Earth-based methane-producing machine The rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments have been sniffing for methane …
Anti-laser graphic

Lasers battle cattle farts!

It’s not exactly “cows with freakin’ lasers!”: the aptly-named Methane Research Cluster is to use lasers to measure the methane emissions from Australia’s vast herd of ruminants. The University of Melbourne-led project wants to improve “measurement and management” of methane emissions, starting with grazing lands in the north …
Dinosaurs

Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth

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 …
The Register breaking news

Earth once had hazy methane atmosphere like ice-moon Titan

Billions of years ago, before Earth's atmosphere had oxygen, it periodically possessed a "haze" of organic chemicals including methane, boffins have discovered. During these periods the planet's air was more like that of Titan, ice moon of Saturn, than the stuff we breathe today. "Models have previously suggested that the …
Lewis Page, 19 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

NASA study identifies the ‘low hanging fruit’ in climate change

A group led by NASA and Columbia University has published a study claiming that an immediate focus on two non-CO2 pollutants – soot and methane – will help address climate change in the short term while international geopolitics wends its way through the Byzantine politics needed to get a global agreement. Their assertion is …
The Register breaking news

Wallabies battle cattle farts

The Tammar Wallaby’s digestive system is getting agricultural researchers excited, after researchers from Australia’s science agency CSIRO found its gut generates far lower methane emissions than cattle. Methane poses a greenhouse conundrum for policy makers: our dependence on livestock for meat means we keep lots of ruminants …
The Register breaking news

Biodegradable products are often worse for the planet

Stateside boffins say that, contrary to popular perception, it would often be better for the planet if people avoided using biodegradable products compliant with the recommended US government guidelines. This is because biodegradable wastes – for instance cardboard cups, "eco friendly" disposable nappies, various kinds of …
Lewis Page, 1 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

'Methanotroph' bacteria feasted on blown BP rig's methane belch

Scientists believe they have solved the mystery over what happened to the hundreds of thousands of tons of methane that belched into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion last April. According to a study published in Science Xpress, the gas served as a feast for methanotrophs: bacteria able to …
The Register breaking news

Feed curry to sheep, boffins suggest

Tests by scientists from the University of Newcastle have suggested that spices commonly used in curry could cut methane emissions from flatulent sheep. Research student Mohammad Mehedi Hasan and Dr Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry probed the possible beneficial effects on ovine guts of cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and turmeric. …
Lester Haines, 7 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

Arctic microbes 'could survive on Mars'

Canadian boffins say they have discovered a strange form of microbe living in remote Arctic springs which would, if taken to some parts of Mars, be able to survive there. The salt-domed Lost Hammer spring on Axel Heiberg island in arctic Canada. Credit: McGill uni You're not going to believe it, but I've actually lost my …
Lewis Page, 7 Jun 2010

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