56th Annual Bennett Lecture

“Methane through time: is this the gas that fine-tuned the planet?”

The 56th Annual Bennett Lecture, will be given by Professor Euan Nisbet, Royal Holloway, University of London, on Monday 16th March 2015 at 6 p.m. in Lecture Theatre 1 Bennett Building, University of Leicester.

MethaneProfessor Nisbet will talk about the Atmospheric methane as a gas of paradoxes. It is a reduced species, yet it exists in an oxidising atmosphere. In the early history of the planet, when the sun was fainter than today, it may have been the factor that sustained liquid water and hence life. Yet the paradox is that this life-giving gas was itself the excretion of life. It may have played a major role in the transitions between ice ages and warm interglacials, even though at the time it was less than 1 part per million (ppm) of the air. Today, we have more than doubled the amount of methane in the air.  It is still a minor component of the air (about 2 ppm), yet a major and potentially transformative greenhouse gas. Methane may be the ‘first-responder’ to climate change – the post-2007 rise in methane may be an example of this.

Admission is free, if you would like to attend, please contact Gail Andrews in the Geology Department by e-mail at geology@le.ac.uk.  The talk is preceded by refreshments in the Geology Department from 5.30 p.m.

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