3-6% of atmospheric methane originates from ocean vents but even more is trapped there by methane-oxidizing microbes. Now, researchers at Oregon State University have unearthed another methane sink – in the by-product of these microbes.

Authegenic carbonate, released by microorganisms during the consumption of methane, is found to contain vast numbers of active, methane-consuming microbes. The discovery is important because it may significantly change our estimates of the ocean’s methane sinks. Authegenic carbonate is found in virtually every deep-sea basin and ranges in size from pebbles to large pavement-like stretches.

Read more: bit.ly/1sIdG3b
Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program / US Geological Survey / methane streams at a cold seep


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