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Methane Budget

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    1st Sep, 2020
  • Methane is emitted from a range of anthropogenic sources like landfills, agriculture, and fossil fuels, as well as natural systems like wetlands.
  • It is the second most important greenhouse gas that humans are contributing to.
  • Since pre-industrial times, increases in atmospheric methane have contributed to a quarter of the climate-warming effect from greenhouse gases.
  • But unlike carbon dioxide, methane has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere.
  • If big changes are brought in our emissions, methane can be removed relatively quickly.
  • Recently international team of scientists has published an update on the global methane budget as part of the Global Carbon Project.
  • They estimated annual global methane emissions at nearly 570 million tons for the 2008 to 2017 decade which is 5% higher than emissions recorded in the early 2000s.
  • It estimated that wetlands made up for the largest natural source of methane and other sources like agriculture, waste and fossil fuels contributed to 60%.
  • Wetlands are estimated to make up 20% to 30% of the global methane budget, but emissions vary by latitude.
  • The fluxes are larger in the tropics than in the high latitudes and temperate zones.

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