Gases From Flatulent Dinosaurs May Have ‘Warmed The Earth’

Giant dinosaurs could have warmed the planet with their flatulence, say researchers.

British scientists have calculated the methane output of sauropods, including the species known as Brontosaurus. By scaling up the digestive wind of cows, they estimate that the population of dinosaurs – as a whole – produced 520 million tonnes of gas annually. They suggest the gas could have been a key factor in the warm climate 150 million years ago.

David Wilkinson from Liverpool John Moore’s University, and colleagues from the University of London and the University of Glasgow published their results in the journal Current Biology. Sauropods, such as Apatosaurus louise (formerly known as Brontosaurus), were super-sized land animals that grazed on vegetation during the Mesozoic Era. For Dr Wilkinson, it was not the giants that were of interest but the microscopic organisms living inside them.


Methane is known as a “greenhouse gas” that absorbs infrared radiation from the sun, trapping it in the Earth’s atmosphere and leading to increased temperatures.

Previous studies have suggested that the Earth was up to 10C (18F) warmer in the Mesozoic Era. With the knowledge that livestock emissions currently contribute a significant part to global methane levels, the researchers used existing data to estimate how sauropods could have affected the climate. Their calculations considered the dinosaurs’ estimated total population and used a scale that links biomass to methane output for cattle.

Current methane emissions amount to around 500 million tonnes a year from a combination of natural sources, such as wild animals, and human activities including dairy and meat production. Expressing his surprise at the comparative figures, Dr Wilkinson added that dinosaurs were not the sole producers of methane at the time.

Do you think that the dinosaurs’ flatulence created that much effect in the Earth’s climate back then? Tell us what you think!

Source: Digg Science

Image: Mirror News

North Korea’s Long-Range Missile Fails After Liftoff

Defying international pressure, North Korea launched a long-range missile Friday morning. However, U.S. officials say they believe the attempted launch failed before the missile was able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

U.S. officials confirm that a North Korean long-range missile appears to have broken apart midair after launch. Officials say they believe the missile fell apart within the Earth’s atmosphere before crashing into the sea. South Korea’s Defense Ministry first reported the launch, which is seen as defying international warnings and widely viewed as a provocation from the rogue state. The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday to discuss a response to the North’s attempted launch.


South Korean and U.S. intelligence reports say the launch was made from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri. The launch comes after weeks of speculation regarding the possible launch, which North Korea’s government says was being done to send a weather satellite into orbit. If true, it would represent the third failed attempt by North Korea to send a satellite into space since 1998.

North Korea says it was timing the launch to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s former leader, Kim Il Sung, which they are celebrating Sunday. However, most observers say the launch is actually tied to the country’s missile program. Japan has already given its military clearance to shoot down the rocket if it crosses into Japanese airspace.

There was no word from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, about the launch. North Korean television was reportedly broadcasting popular folk music at the time of the launch and has only said it will offer an announcement on the launch “soon.”

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Times 24/7