Methane

  • Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is a surprisingly dynamic world. Summer was due to hit its northern hemisphere in 2016, but strangely it didn’t seem to arrive as expected. Now, astronomers have analyzed Cassini images and found evidence of rainfall, indicating that finally, summer is coming.
  • According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the oil and gas industries alone release 75 million metric tons of methane each year. In response, the organization is planning to launch MethaneSAT to identify major sources of methane emissions and identify opportunities for reduction.
  • Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of the most promising places to look for life. In a new study, scientists subjected earthly bacteria to the kind of conditions found on Enceladus. They were able to survive and reproduce, adding weight to the idea that the icy moon might just be able to support life.
  • Saturn’s moon Titan is very Earth-like, with lakes and oceans, but instead of water, those seas are composed of liquid methane and ethane. Now, scientists at NASA and WSU have recreated that alien ocean in the lab, to test out designs for submarines that may one day dive into the Titanic depths.
  • Science
    Gemstones might not seem so valuable if they literally rained from the sky, but that's thought to be a common weather pattern on ice giant planets. Now scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have seen it in action here on Earth, by making it rain diamonds in the lab.
  • Science
    ​While Earth wasn't exactly the best place to set up home during the Archaean era​, life still​ managed to thrive in its oxygen-free ancient oceans. Though much of this period remains a mystery, the still depths of Canada’s Boreal Shield lakes could offer clues to our early origin story.
  • In the fight to cut greenhouse gas emissions, we tend to think of trees as our allies, but new research suggests they might not be as "green" as we think. Researchers have found that some types of trees emit methane through their trunks, partly countering their role as a greenhouse gas sink.
  • An international team of researchers has found that livestock plant food grown in warmer climates leads to higher methane releases, and could potentially be inhibiting milk and meat production at the same time.
  • Taking advantage of the fact that Google's Street View cars are constantly roaming our urban corridors, a novel project has incorporated methane-sensing equipment into the cars so accurate data can be generated to better target pipeline repairs.
  • Aqualia and SEAT are teaming up to develop a sustainable fuel from wastewater. The project, known as Life Metha-morphosis, is aimed at creating a biofuel from treated organic waste, which can then be used to power CNG cars, whose CO2 emissions would be cut by up to 80 percent.
  • New Holland is no stranger to alternative fuels and technology in its tractors, having dabbled with hydrogen and autonomous battery-powered models in the past. In another attempt to move away from diesel, the agricultural giant has just unveiled the T6.180 Methane Power.
  • Scientists are looking at ways to reduce the methane emissions from cows by altering their diets. The latest development in the area comes from scientists in Mexico, who have found that supplementing cow food with leaves of tropical plants can cause a sharp decline in their gaseous output. ​