Production of new methane by microorganisms – Careers Ready


A recent intensive modeling study found that The largest source of methane in the atmosphere is microorganisms, not the burning of fossil fuels.

related facts

  • Methane emissions from fossil fuels in 1990 And declined in the mid-2000s And since then it is stable, while Microorganisms are producing more methane.
  • At the UN climate talks in 2021, Member countries have committed to reducing gas emissions and slowing the planet's warming. 'Global Methane Pledge' Started.

local data required

  • Data mismatch: This recent data is unequal across the two emissions inventorieswhich are called EDGAR and GAINS.
    • EDGAR: It had reported that methane emissions had increased between 1990 and 2020 due to the exploration of oil and natural gas.
    • GAINS: Year A large 'unconventional' increase in emissions was recorded since 2006.
  • Reason for uneven data: a possible reason Increase in Animal Husbandry in Latin America and south and Excess emissions from waste in South-East Asia, Latin America and Africa It is possible as well as, There was also an increase in the number of wetlands around the world.
  • Most studies that use satellites cannot measure actual (change over time) methane emissions. Satellite data is interpreted using models and Thus there is a risk of uncertainties.


  • a greenhouse gas: methane carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, but it warms the planet more.
    • Over the course of more than a century, methane global warming potential CO2 is 28 times more than And even more in a short period like two decades.
  • Its sources: Scientists are increasingly recognizing different sources of methane, most of which fall into two categories: Biogenic and thermogenic.
    • Thermogenic: When fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil are extracted from within the Earth's crust, thermogenic methane is released.
  • Biogenic: it Methane is produced by microbial action.
    • biogenic and thermogenic Both activities produce different isotopes of methane. Tracking isotopes by carbon-13 is one way to track which sources are most active?
      • If from a certain level in a group of 1,000 methane molecules There are fewer carbon-13 atoms, so methane one Is from organic source.
      • If methane thermogenic sources is derived from, such as from trapped fossil fuels or geological activities, then in 1,000 molecules There will be more carbon-13 atoms.
    • of this carbon isotope carbon-13 atoms In 13 nucleons (6 protons + 7 neutrons) Are there.
  • action needed: To reduce methane, first of all anthropogenic activities should be controlled.
    • in anthropogenic activities Waste and landfills, rice fields, enteric fermentation, oil and gas and coal.

About methane producing bacteria

  • Methanogens: Microorganisms that produce methane are archaea (single-celled microorganisms) different from bacteria and eukaryotes and are called methanogens.
  • Survival Situation: They Thrive in an environment lacking oxygen, Such as the digestive systems of animals, wetlands, rice fields, landfills and sediments of lakes and oceans.
  • Significance: Methanogens convert organic matter into methane. Play an important role in the global carbon cycle.
    • Although methane is a potent greenhouse gas, its production by methanogens An essential part of the natural ecosystem.
      • But human activities like agriculture, dairy farming and fossil fuel production have further increased methane emissions.

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