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Published on Jun 11, 2008
Heiko Sahling is a biologist and deep sea geoscientist at the MARUM Research Center. The area he studies is in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Pakistan.
There, at depths down to 3,000 meters, something fascinating is happening. Natural gas is emerging from the sea bed, to produce a surreal world of millions of tiny bubbles, which has already spurred the fancy of science fiction authors. In these exotic surroundings, the scientist has discovered both new animal species and communities and new geological truths. But the main questions that drive him are concerned with the methane gas emitted here. How much is emitted, how does it affect the biological world of the deep sea, and how much reaches the surface to enter the atmosphere? That is also relevant to climate researchers, because methane is a major greenhouse gas that increases global warming. Heiko Sahling takes Tomorrow Today viewers on an expedition on the METEOR research vessel. He tells us about life on board, about burning ice and about organisms that no one has seen before.