Levels of methane (80x more powerful than CO2) reach an all-time high
by Paul Davies
What's Going On Here?
Initial data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) estimates that levels of atmospheric methane, a gas that is 80x more powerful than CO2, has reached record levels.
What Does This Mean?
Methane, or CH4 to any keen chemists, is a greenhouse gas. It is only present in the atmosphere for 10 years, (as opposed to CO2 that can stay for centuries) but it can be up to 80x more powerful than CO2.
Oil and Gas WellsProblem: natural gas is mainly methane, it is prone to leaking from wellsSolution: use less fossil fuels (reduce flying, switch to renewable energy at home)
Why Should We Care?
Methane levels began to rise after 2006 due to an increase in global oil and gas drilling. This is threatening the goals of the Paris Agreement. Companies could install-recovery equipment, sell the gas to cover the costs of the equipment and save 45% on methane emissions...but most of the time they tend to just burn off the methane, releasing much more wasted carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
e.g. If 1kg of Methane causes the same damage as 80kg of CO2, the impact of 1kg Methane on the atmosphere could be described as 80kg of CO2e.
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