New producer of climate-cooling gas found

Can bacteria help cool the climate?
04 September 2019
Presented by Mariana Marasoiu
Production by Mariana Marasoiu.


Mud coastline with seaweed


We’re all familiar with that strong, tangy, seaside smell. That is the smell of dimethyl sulfide, or DMS for short, a gas that is produced by many organisms living in and around the sea. DMS is particularly known as a climate cooling gas, helping cloud formation and reflecting sun rays back into space. Until recently, researchers thought that DMS, and an associated compound, dimethylsulfoniopropionate, or DMSP, were created by seawater plants, such as seaweed, phytoplankton or salt marsh grasses. Now, a new study investigated mud from the Norfolk coast and from the depths of the Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean and found that other organisms were producing these molecules too. Mariana Marasoiu spoke with lead author Dr. Jonathan Todd from the University of East Anglia, UK, to find out the role of these molecules in better understanding the climate…


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