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Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

The IOW sampling device "Bubble Catcher" under water
The "Bubble Catcher" - here in operation off the Californian coast - was specially developed at the IOW for the contamination-free capture of bubbles at natural seafloor methane seeps for the analysis of adhering bacteria. (photo: IOW / S. Jordan)

For the first time, an IOW research team has been able to determine the efficiency with which methane-oxidising bacteria from the seafloor can travel with gas bubbles from submarine methane seeps into the open water column and influence biogeochemical processes there. This transport process can be of importance for the reduction of the greenhouse gas methane in the marine environment and thus for global climate developments.

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