Underwater animals fart greenhouse gas: study

Mar 03, 2009
Freshly harvested mussels being processed at a farm. Humans and farm animals were known to emit harmful greenhouse gases through digestion, but German researchers said Tuesday that mussels, freshwater snails and other underwater creatures are also culprits, releasing laughing gas.

Humans and farm animals were known to emit harmful greenhouse gases through digestion, but German researchers said Tuesday that aquatic worms and bugs are also culprits, releasing laughing gas.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institut and Denmark's Aarhus University found that mussels, freshwater snails and other underwater creatures release nitrous oxide -- laughing gas -- when nitrate is present in water.

"There's nitrate in water that has been polluted by humans, so the more we pollute, the higher the production of this problematic gas will be," Fanni Aspetsberger from the institute told AFP on Tuesday.

Aspetsberger added that no quantitative data were available, but that it could be "seriously detrimental" to the climate if nitrate pollution continues to rise the way it has over recent years.

Laughing gas is one of many greenhouse gasses that has been released into the atmosphere since industrialisation. Such gasses act as a blanket around the Earth, causing temperatures to rise worldwide.

Rising temperatures have already had disastrous consequences for mankind -- including major disruptions to global weather systems -- and problems are expected to become worse in the future.

The main reason for global warming though, is the release of another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, by the burning of fossil fuels. World leaders aim to strike a new global climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: China's struggle for water security

Related Stories

US renews pledge to cut emissions 26–28% by 2025

Mar 31, 2015

The US government on Tuesday formally pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent over 2005 levels within the next decade, ahead of a major climate conference later this year.

Recommended for you

China's struggle for water security

12 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

12 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Climate censorship gains steam in red states

Apr 17, 2015

While plenty of people found humor in the recent news that officials in Florida and Wisconsin are censoring state workers' ability to talk about, much less work on, climate change, other states are not necessarily laughing. ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ZeroDelta
5 / 5 (2) Mar 03, 2009
Less than scientifically titled.
MikeB
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 03, 2009
I guess we must tax mussels, sea worms and sea weasels now...
MikeB
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 03, 2009
From the article:

"The main reason for global warming though, is the release of another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, by the burning of fossil fuels. World leaders aim to strike a new global climate deal in Copenhagen in December."

Hmmm in another article here Hansen said that the main reason for the recent cooling was the inactivity of the sun. I guess the warming before had nothing to do with the sun? My head hurts.


2008 coldest year this Millenium

http://www.physor...784.html

""Given our expectation that the next El Niño will begin this year or in 2010, it still seems likely that a new global surface air temperature record will be set within the next one to two years, despite the moderate cooling effect of reduced solar irradiance," said James Hansen, director of GISS. The Sun is just passing through solar minimum, the low point in its 10- to 12-year cycle of electromagnetic activity, when it transmits its lowest amount of radiant energy toward Earth."

So, does the sun cause global warming or not? And during solar minimums does it override CO2 or does it override itself?

MikeB
3 / 5 (4) Mar 04, 2009
From the article:

"The main reason for global warming though, is the release of another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, by the burning of fossil fuels. World leaders aim to strike a new global climate deal in Copenhagen in December."

Hmmm in another article here Hansen said that the main reason for the recent cooling was the inactivity of the sun. I guess the warming before had nothing to do with the sun? My head hurts.


2008 coldest year this Millenium

http://www.physor...784.html

""Given our expectation that the next El Niño will begin this year or in 2010, it still seems likely that a new global surface air temperature record will be set within the next one to two years, despite the moderate cooling effect of reduced solar irradiance," said James Hansen, director of GISS. The Sun is just passing through solar minimum, the low point in its 10- to 12-year cycle of electromagnetic activity, when it transmits its lowest amount of radiant energy toward Earth."

So, does the sun cause global warming or not? And during solar minimums does it override CO2 or does it override itself?
Paradox
5 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2009
"Underwater animals fart greenhouse gas"
"freshwater snails and other underwater creatures release nitrous oxide -- laughing gas -- when nitrate is present in water."

Ok, now I have some hilarious pictures running through my head....
wukka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2009
more silly sky-is-falling "science" bleh!

I love going to the beach, and fishing at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad, CA. NO it isn't because I'm getting high from nitrous-oxide mussel farts!

Ironically the lagoon has a mussel farm...also "agua hedionda" means stink water in Spanish...back before CA was a state, the lagoon wasn't managed, kelp just washed in, piled up and rotted heh!
Mercury_01
not rated yet Mar 08, 2009
Hey, this is why I dont swim in the ocean. Fish fart in that water! GRRROSS!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.