It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Study Finds Living Plants Produce "Greenhouse" Gas

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 03:45 PM
Reported in the journal Nature on January 12, was a discovery by Frank Keppler and others at the Max Plank Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg. They determined that living plants give off methane, a "greenhouse" gas thought to contribute significantly to global warming. According to their work, the methane produced from plants accounts for at least 10 to 30 percent of the methane in our atmosphere. Methane is thought to be second only to Carbon Dioxide in producing the so-called "greenhouse effect."
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics have now discovered that plants themselves produce methane and emit it into the atmosphere, even in completely normal, oxygen-rich surroundings. The researchers made the surprising discovery during an investigation of which gases are emitted by dead and fresh leaves. Then, in the laboratory and in the wild, the scientists looked at the release of gases from living plants like maize and ryegrass (see image 1). In this investigation, it turned out that living plants let out some 10 to 1000 times more methane than dead plant material. The researchers then were able to show that the rate of methane production grew drastically when the plants were exposed to the sun.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

So this is shocking on several levels.

First, it was always understood that biogenic methane production could only occur without oxygen present. But, plants have apparently not read their organic chemistry books. So, this is a whole new, mysterious process. Neat! But, it may get worse as things get warmer.

Next, what does this mean for environmentalists? Are they wrong about global warming? Does this negate the notion entirely? I personally doubt it, but it does do some damage, in my opinion. This discovery makes it more likely that natural effects play a greater role in global warming than previously suspected by environmentalists. I know this guy doesn't like it:

"The finding is pretty astonishing," says Malcolm Campbell, an associate professor of botany at the University of Toronto. "It's almost one of those findings that you wish wasn't true."
From the last source.

For others, perhaps it is some kind of vindication?

Related News Links:

[edit on 14-2-2006 by DJDOHBOY]

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 12:46 PM
An interesting update from another member's story suggests that global warming may be irreversable.

Her story can be found here:

A question, though, isn't the idea that global warming, as a potential precursor to global cooling (i.e., the next ice age) is a cyclical phenomena? If that is the case, then it sort of goes without saying that it is irreversable. And, what are the potential ramifications if we were able to "reverse" the process? What if one of the world's most powerful cycles were in fact disrupted by man? Isn't that one of the very things so-called environmentalists seek to prevent?

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 12:48 PM
We didn't know this already?

Where is the break-through here? People have been saying plants have for years, my own grand-father for one has been and he was an engineer.

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 01:31 PM

Originally posted by Odium
We didn't know this already?

Where is the break-through here? People have been saying plants have for years, my own grand-father for one has been and he was an engineer.

First off, let's be sure we're on the same page. We're talking about trees here, not sewage plants or textile plants. Green plants.

Second, no, we didn't know this already. We knew about oxygen being given off in the chlorophyll reaction, but it was never suspected that they give off methane.

Third, we are talking about live plants here. That is the one essential difference. We've known for a while that decaying plant matter gives off methane, but only when that decay takes place without oxygen present (like inside a compost heap or inside a pile of dead leaves). What makes this remarkable is that it is being produced in LIVING plants, in the prescence of oxygen, which was thought, until now, to be impossible.

Finally, if your grandpa suspected this, it's a shame for him he didn't do the research. He could have been famous.

I hope that makes it more clear what is so shocking about this discovery.

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 02:06 PM
Hamburglar, I'm talking the same thing. For years, he has been telling me and my sister about such a thing and most of us...didn't believe him. He tends to read a lot of "odd" conspiracy type books, that make David Icke look normal.

When I am up there next, Feb the 14th it should be, I'll ask him about where he got it from and attempt to find the book in his house. Hopefully, he'll know where he read it or I'll be able to find the book for you guys.

Side-note: He was a designer for Wickman's and Jaguar cars, retiring in 1980 prior to the collapse of the company.

top topics

log in