Most debates about climate change places great importance on the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And rightly so: Such pollution accounts for over two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
But brand-new study suggests these discussions neglect a distressing veer of surging methane emissions and to examine the question head-on were gonna help dramatically brake the warming of the planet.
According to a duet of articles that appeared Monday in the academic journals Earth System Science Data and Environmental Research Letters, releases of methane in the last decade are approaching a “worst-case scenario.”
In the last two years especially, methane radiations have been climbing while carbon dioxide emissions have flattened.
While the trend is alarming, it also represents an opportunity, due to the ways in which methane differs from carbon dioxide, Rob Jackson, chair of Stanford University’s Earth System Science Department and a co-author of both of Monday’s newspapers, explained.
“Carbon dioxide last-places longer in the sky, but methane ordinances more rapidly, ” Jackson told The Huffington Post. “So increasing methane is the quickest happen we can do to slow climate change.”
Scientists have yet to fully understand what is causing the recent rise in methane, but they are confident that the increase has more to do with biological roots — namely agriculture — than fossil fuel beginnings, Jackson said.
Agricultural rehearsals relent methane in a number of ways.
Livestock release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere through their digestive processes. These animals’ manure is also a contributing factor, as methane is raised when dung is stored under deeming tanks or bays. According to the analysis, rice paddies too induce methane “where theyre” flooded.
Reducing these emissions could prove trickier than reducing emissions from fossil fuel, Jackson said, because the sources of emissions reductions are more widely dispersed among numerous smaller, individual farms throughout the world.
“This is a global issue, ” Jackson said. “There’s not any one country globally dominating methane radiations the direction the U.S. and China reign world-wide carbon emissions, for instance.”