11 Jan 2021

An interesting one emerging from the woodwork. At ... breatherian bacteria break down greenhouse gases. Some bacteria living in soils can break down toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane. The study is published in Nature Microbiology [January 2021] and it brings forth just how adaptable bacteria can be, on an evolutionary scale. If one should cast our minds back a few years to the BP Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a giant oil spill, what seemed far fetched at the time, has not since been disputed. The oil was eaten by bacteria on the sea floor. They had evolved to do this as oil was probably seeping out of the sea bed for thousands, if not millions of years. The oil became their sustenance as the bacteria adapted to feeding on it. This study appears to be something similar - but in soils on the land. Bacteria have evolved here to feed on various toxic gases. Pick up any book on soil biology and you will learn that soil bacteria have adapted to feed on organic matter. That is why farmers and gardeners lace the soil with manure and leaf mold and composted material, mimicking nature, it is thought. However, the new study shows most soil bacteria can sustain itself on 'inorganic' energy sources - such as carbon monoxide and atmospheric hydrogen. They have probably evolved in order to do this, possibly over a long period of time. This research showed that bacterial groups in soils can do this but they also uncovered a new kind of bacteria that are able to live on air - the breatharians. It seems that bacteria in the soil have the ability to affect the air we breathe and are capable of protecting soil health in a changing environment. Emissions of hydrogen, carbon monoxide from motor vehicle fumes, and methane [cows farting], are increasing in the modern world. Bacteria are keeping our excesses in check. At this point you may wonder if I am wearing a tin foil hat. The point being argued, or perhaps just asked, will bacteria evolve in a short space of time to be able to achieve that, protecting humans from their increasing level of emissions. However, how much of this is aired in order to toe the line, so to speak, is questionable, casting the tin foil hat into the air towards the global warming alarmists. They go on to say they have found unexpected connections between the atmosphere and the biosphere, a sort of Gaia. Who is wearing the tin foil hat? No idea.