56th Annual Bennett Lecture: 'Life, Methane through time: is this the gas that fine-tuned the planet'

56th Annual Bennett Lecture: 'Life, Methane through time: is this the gas that fine-tuned the planet'

Methane through time

Series Name 56th Annual Bennett Lecture
Speaker Professor Euan Nisbet, Professor of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London
Type Lectures & Talks
When 16 Mar 2015, 06:00PM - 07:00PM
Venue Bennett Lecture Theatre 1, Bennett Building, University of Leicester
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact For more information contact - Gail Andrews 0116 252 3921 ga16@le.ac.uk

Professor 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.

Refreshments will be served in the Bennett Building Foyer, at 5.30pm prior to the lecture.