Major source of methanol in the ocean identified

Mar-18
 

As one of the most abundant organic compounds on the planet, methanol occurs naturally in the environment as plants release it as they grow and decompose. It is also found in the ocean, where it is a welcome food source for ravenous microbes that feast on it for energy and growth. While scientists have long known methanol exists in the ocean, and that certain microbes love to snack on it, they’ve been stymied by one key question: where does it come from? Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have solved this mystery through the discovery of a massive – and previously unaccounted for – source of methanol in the ocean: phytoplankton.

Read More >>