Christmas Trees Absorb 'Super' Greenhouse Gas Methane
Elin Sundqvist and colleagues at Lund University and Stockholm University in Sweden discovered that some trees are absorbing methane, discovery News reported.
They did some very number-heavy forest and laboratory measurements and analysis of the gases being exchanged by tree branches of pine, spruce and birch trees under a variety of conditions.
The discovery could offer a new explanation to an observed leveling off of methane concentrations in Earth's atmosphere, the researchers wrote in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
Earlier work suggested that the methane levels were slowing as a result of less fossil fuel burning while some other suggested that maybe there were fewer microbes making methane in the Northern hemisphere, according to the researchers.
The new study offers a third explanation: that an increasing amount of CH4 has been taken up by vegetation during the last decades as a consequence of increased greenness.