Atmospheric Methane Levels Are Surging, Concerning The Scientists

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Mysteries are what scientists live for, but they are not as fun when the future of humanity is at stake. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is what this enigma involves. The level of methane in the atmosphere has not been increasing since 1999, and that made climate change develop at a slower rate, giving gave humanity a bit of a break from it.

However, in 2007, the concentration started rising again. According to new research, since then, it has been picking up the pace. The cause of this process is still unknown, but scientists are working on it. Unfortunately, the only thing that is clear is also the most dangerous fact – this surge in atmospheric methane levels could imperil the Paris climate accord.

Atmospheric Methane Levels Are Surging, Concerning The Scientists

An earth scientist at Royal Holloway, Euan Nisbet, also from the University of London, was the lead author of a recent study explaining how and why the atmospheric methane levels are surging. “I don’t want to run around and cry wolf all the time, but it is something that is very, very worrying,” he said.

When corpses break down, and not much oxygen is around, methane is produced. In nature, it seeps out of sediments, waterlogged wetlands, and peat bogs. Forest fires also create it.

However, about half of all methane emissions are churned out by the human activities these days. Some significant sources include fossil fuel operations and agriculture. Besides, cattle farms are another source for methane as the gas is produced in these animals’ guts.

There is a lot less methane than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Compared to CO2, the methane causes by 32 times as much warming because it is extremely good at trapping heat. Throughout the last century, this is what happened, at least, the new study presented.


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