(Mirror Daily, United States) – A recent study discovered a new element which contributes to climate change, and to the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The culprits are ocean critters, such as worms and clams, which release a high amount of gases as methane and different types of nitrous oxides.
Ocean critters release high amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
A team of researchers from the Universities of Cardiff and Stockholm analyzed the gut bacteria inside ocean critters, and their effect on global warming. This is how they found out the activity of these bacteria led to the release of one of the strongest greenhouse gases existent on the planet.
The gases in question are nitrous oxides and methane. The latter, for instance, has about 28 times the warming capacity of carbon dioxide, and can easily make its way into the atmosphere from water. This leads to a great contribution on the process of global warming.
A new threat for the environment
Researchers analyzed methane emissions from the Baltic Sea, and discovered about 10 percent of them are caused by ocean critters. Although it doesn’t sound dangerous, this amount of gas equals the emissions produced by 20,000 cows, the next big animal ‘pollutant’. Therefore, being aware of the effect of these ocean critters could be vital for the future of our planet.
Officials thought that promoting farming of ocean critters would be beneficial for the environment, as it would prevent the damaging of other marine life forms. However, if clams and worms can emit such dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases, it might be a better decision to avoid massive farming.
The results of the research are worth considering. This study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, only looked at the effects of ocean critters from the Baltic Sea, which represents only 0.1 percent of all seas and oceans on Earth. This leads to a dangerous conclusion, meaning that seaworms and clams have a huge contribution on global warming.
Image Source: Pixnio
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