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Subterranean atmospheres may act as daily methane sinks

AuthorsFernández Cortés, Ángel ; Cuezva, Soledad ; Álvarez-Gallego, Miriam ; García-Antón, E.; Pla, Concepción; Benavente, David; Jurado, Valme ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo ; Sánchez Moral, Sergio
KeywordsClimate science
Earth sciences
Atmospheric science
Issue DateApr-2015
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Communications 6: 7003 (2015)
Abstract© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. In recent years, methane (CH4) has received increasing scientific attention because it is the most abundant non-CO2 atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) and controls numerous chemical reactions in the troposphere and stratosphere. However, there is much that is unknown about CH4 sources and sinks and their evolution over time. Here we show that near-surface cavities in the uppermost vadose zone are now actively removing atmospheric CH4. Through seasonal geochemical tracing of air in the atmosphere, soil and underground at diverse geographic and climatic locations in Spain, our results show that complete consumption of CH4 is favoured in the subsurface atmosphere under near vapour-saturation conditions and without significant intervention of methanotrophic bacteria. Overall, our results indicate that subterranean atmospheres may be acting as sinks for atmospheric CH4 on a daily scale. However, this terrestrial sink has not yet been considered in CH4 budget balances.
Description11 páginas.-- 6 figuras.-- 64 referencias.-- Supplementary Information accompanies this paper at http://www.nature.com/naturecommunications http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150427/ncomms8003/extref/ncomms8003-s1.pdf
Las figuras que no se encuentran en el Preprint son de acceso libre en el enlace al texto original.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8003
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/ncomms8003
issn: 2041-1723
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