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AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009
Date:8/6/2009

wever, a new study finds that these older assessments might overestimate current oceanic emissions of methane. In 1998, Rhee et al. measured the concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide in the surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean, from 50 degrees North to 50 degrees South. By extrapolating these values, they recently found that their estimate of the rate of methane emitted by the global ocean is about 10 times less than the values used by the IPCC. Their nitrous oxide emission rates are about 3 times less. The authors' estimate for methane is similar to basin-wide studies of the Pacific Ocean, suggesting that IPCC overestimates were likely generated by an overly coarse sampling method.

Title: Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the ocean: A reassessment using basin-wide observations in the Atlantic

Authors: T. S. Rhee: Center of Polar Climate Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Korea;

A. J. Kettle: Biogeochemistry Department, Max Plank Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany; Now at Department of Earth Sciences, State University of New York at Oswego, Oswego, New York, USA;

M. O. Andreae: Biogeochemistry Department, Max Plank Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-D) paper 10.1029/2008JD011662, 2009; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JD011662


4. Martian dust storms generate lightning

Dust storms on Earth build up an electric field as dust particles collide, and then emit lightning as the electric field discharges. Some previous evidence suggested that Martian dust storms might also generate lightning in this manner, but the phenomenon had not been directly observed. To observe evidence of lightning on Mars, Ruf et al. use a new detector that is able to distinguish nonthermal microwave radiation, which indicates a large electric discharge, from
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Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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