Scientists know that in the distant past, huge amounts of methane were somehow released from the ocean floor, which lead to an extreme case of global warming. Could this happen again? If it does, we may be able to use a newly-discovered sea creature to mop up the methane.
In New Scientist, Catherine Brahic writes about the discovery of reef-building sponges that were thought to have been extinct for 100 million years?except a new group of them has been discovered off the West Coast of the US. Why is this important??Because these creatures consume large quantities of methane and can be found in places where the gas seeps up from the ocean floor.
Encouraging the growth of these sponges might save us if the ocean suddenly decides to release huge amounts of methane again in the future.
Art credit: gimp-savvy.com
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