The Methane Mystery
According to NASA, “what we know for sure is that a lot more methane (CH4) has made its way into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.” Human activity has increased the amount of methane, similarly to carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. We know this because methane concentrations in the atmosphere have gone up ~150% since the preindustrial age. Methane has long been considered a harbinger of climate catastrophe.
Methane is known to have a greater greenhouse gas (GHG) warming factor than CO2, a potential of 34 times that of CO2 over 100 years according to the latest IPCC Assessment Report. Just to put this into perspective over several time frames the IPCC AR5, widely cited as an authority on this matter, reports that the 100-year global warming potential (GWP) of methane is 34, the 20-year GWP is 86, the 10-year is 99, and the 5-year GWP was found to be 115. Even more recent research has upped the GWP of methane somewhat additionally, by around 25%.
Even more troubling is that recently, researchers everywhere are finding that methane readings globally are going bonkers to quote those reporting on this. Others are noting a surging trend and recently, shocking data has emerged showing global atmospheric methane readings literally going off the charts (video). But is this because of anthropogenic, natural or Arctic methane sources?
It’s Time to Declare a Methane Emergency
To briefly summarize from methane by the numbers, according to Dean et al. , “anthropogenic sources are slightly larger emitters of methane to the atmosphere compared to natural sources.” These anthropogenic factors aren’t getting much attention and this threat has been significantly downplayed by mainstream media. In fact, it’s almost never mentioned.
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