Methane released by organisms dinosaurs kept warm climate on the planet


08/05/2012

Giant dinosaurs may have warmed the planet for its digestive gases, researchers say. British scientists have calculated that dinosaur species Sauropods, including species known as Brontosaurus was recovered during digestion products of methane. Taking into account the digestive gas cows, they estimate that the population of dinosaurs - in general - has produced 520 million tons of gas annually. They suggest that the gas may have been a key factor in a remarkably warm climate 150 million years ago.

David Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moore’s University, and colleagues from the University of London and the University of Glasgow, have published their findings in the journal Current Biology.

Some species of Sauropod, such as Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus), were giant land animals that were grazing, feeding on vegetation throughout the Mesozoic Era. For Dr. Wilkinson were of interest not the giant dinosaurs, and microscopic organisms that live in them.

"Ecology of microbes and their role in the work of our planet - one of my key interest rates in science," he told the BBC. "Although these microbes - an essential element of a dinosaur that has captured the imagination of his work, in fact it is - the microbes that live in the intestines of dinosaurs that make methane."

Methane is known as the "greenhouse gas" that absorbs infrared radiation from the sun, luring him into a trap the Earth’s atmosphere and leading to an increase in temperature on the planet. Previous studies have suggested that the Earth’s temperature was at 10C (18F) warmer in the Mesozoic Era.

With the knowledge that the issue of livestock currently contributes a significant part in global methane levels, the researchers used existing data to evaluate, as a kind of Sauropods, may have influenced the global climate. Their calculations that consider the estimated total population of dinosaurs and the anticipated extent of their occurrence, biomass associated with the production of methane in cattle.

"Cows today produce about 50-100 million tons per year. Our best estimate for Sauropods - about 520 million tonnes," said Dr. Wilkinson.

Current methane emissions amount to approximately 500 million tons per year from a combination of natural sources, such as wild animals, and human activities, including the production of meat and dairy. Expressing his surprise comparative numbers, Dr. Wilkinson added that the dinosaurs were not the only producers of methane at the time.

"There were other sources of methane in the Mesozoic period, so the overall level of methane is likely to be much higher than they are now," he said.

Original in (English language): Physorg com


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