2020: The Rise of Methane Emissions
By: Jenna Steele
Summary: The second largest human-caused greenhouse gas is methane, right behind carbon dioxide. Methane is substantially stronger in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide and can stay in the atmosphere for about 12 years. Methane emissions come from natural gas, enteric fermentation (fermentation that happens in cattle digestive systems), manure, landfills, and coal mining. From the years 2008 to 2017 the total methane emissions in the world was around 596 million metric tons per year. This would be a 9% increase from the previous ten years, and it is still increasing in 2020. Before 2006 there are a slowdown in the amount of methane emissions, but since then there has been a steady increased in total emissions. By the end of 2019, the amount of methane in the atmosphere was 2.5 times higher than that of the emissions in pre-industrial times. Over the past few years, the largest component as to why methane emissions are rising are from agriculture, or consumption of red meat, and fossil fuels, or natural gas and leaking pipelines. By the end of 2020, in the equivalency of carbon dioxide metric tons the total emissions of methane are predicted to be around 9,390 metric tons. This would be the highest amount of methane in the atmosphere ever seen, and it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The increasing global temperature, due to greenhouse gases such as methane, account for heat waves, drought conditions, loss of sea ice, sea level rise, and other intense weather patterns. Not only do these conditions mean hotter temperatures, but a potential loss in crops, species, and harmful weather to humans and animals.
Why we should care? Methane is a greenhouse gas which is found in ozone, which not only contributes to global warming but can also affect human health. We, as humans, currently are responsible for around 60% of total methane emissions worldwide.
I found this article interesting because it was incredibly informative, using statistics and figures from multiple scientific studies. The findings as to why the methane levels are rising that were stated in the article, were not at all surprising to me, but the fact that the emissions would be so high in the midst of a pandemic are astounding to me. The article also gives insights of scientist who study greenhouse gas emissions which I found to be more important than comments from politicians. The article also acknowledges the fact that we know where the high concentrations of emissions are coming from and the researchers believe that in order to get emissions down, there needs to be some reform on fossil fuels.
Science in Action.
Edward J Dlugokencky is an Atmospheric Chemist at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
As an atmospheric chemist, Dr. Edward Dlugokencky studies the carbon cycle and how it plays into climate change and greenhouse gases. He works closely with the Global monitoring Division of NOAA, which calculate and track global means of atmosphere gases at their marine sites monthly. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Dlugokencky, has done a multitude of studies, some of the most recent covering the carbon dioxide and methane emissions at marine surfaces. This relates the topic of my blog, the rise in global methane emissions, because marine surfaces account for water levels in oceans. Water levels in oceans are directly connected to increased global temperature due to the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, one being methane.
This is a very interesting topic, I always think of how methane gas impacts the environment when I consider eating less animal products and byproducts. This is also very important considering the holidays are coming up and many people are buying beef and cow byproducts more than might normally. The only good thing is that the majority of the cow is used so there can be minimal waste if done right.
Heba M. Chokr
Many people think that of all the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide is the most damaging to our atmosphere-- little do they know that methane is a lot worse for us. That being said, I wonder what drastic measures we have to take to decrease the amount of methane we are putting into our atmosphere. This blog post did a good job informing others about the damaging effects of methane has had on us over the last two decades.
I found this topic interesting because it coincides with what I wrote about, methane emissions from landfills. Increasing the amount of greenhouse gases will eventually raise global temperatures and create unstable environments. Alternate methods of treating and disposing methane will be key to mitigating environmental consequences. In landfills, methane emissions can be captured and used to generate electricity by incinerating trash.
Jenna, this is an important topic to cover! I think it is also really important how you emphasized that this is human caused. Green house gas emissions have been so negatively affected by humans and our way of life. There needs to be some sort of reform if we are going to be able to fix what has already been done. And unfortunately, the rates of things like cattle pastures are still increasing. You used great information in this!
This was a very interesting blog post and it is a very important topic to cover. With the large amounts of cattle farms around the United States, it seems as if the problem will never be solved. I am interested in to how officials will combat the methane emissions, or what measures they will take in order to reduce them.
This is a very important article that you pointed out to. Its also a very important topic that I think needs to be brought up to attention because of serious it can get to if it just keeps on rising every year like how it did the past 20 years. Because we produce 60% of the total methane is a problem. I believe that if we can produce we can also reduce it. Methane has the capability to warm up the environment and can last for 15 years. This can have a significant role on global warming. That's why you hear about cold places on earth somehow warm up and breaking the normal atmospheric temperatures. Siberia one of the coldest places on the planet, this summer got up to 100F when they expect summer temps to be around 60 F. Not only that but it has had impact on the local people and the wildlife there.
I think this was a very interesting point that you wrote about. Some people believe that global warming is fake and many believe its real. I am the one that believes that global warming is real and I think we are living through it right now. We have to take into action about how we can reduce methane production especially because we produce 60% of it. Since methane is the type of gas that has the capability to warm the environment up, that's a leading cause to why some areas where its supposed to be cold but are surprisingly warm.
Methane is often overlooked compared to carbon dioxide, and with how much beef is consumed in America, and how strong of a greenhouse gas it is, I believe that methane is next on the list of greenhouse gases to be solved if we ever get a handle on carbon dioxide. Its sad to hear we are predicted to be at a new high of 9390 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.
Nice blogg thanks for posting
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