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Global Methane Levels move up again

December 17, 2008

Two computer models showing the amount of meth...
Two computer models that show the amount of methane on the Earth’s surface and in the stratosphere.
Were we complacent?  Who is responsible for letting the methane out of the leash?. Undoubtedly it is the developed industrial world that became complacent or impatient of the control that prevented the industry from restoring their high profit profile.

Emissions have been balanced over the past decade by natural sinks that absorb the gas and through oxidation into the atmosphere.

Increased drainage of tropical wetlands for agricultural use and increased fossil fuel use have now upset the apple cart.

The destruction of natural tropical wetlands removes the important sink from the delicate equation.

clipped from
Dani Cooper

Methane levels in the atmosphere have started to rise after almost eight years of near-zero growth, an international study says.

rice field
And the increase may lead to an acceleration of global warming, the scientists behind the study warn.
Dr Paul Fraser of the CSIRO, who co-authored the study that appears in Geophysical Research Letters, says samples taken from 12 stations across a global network showed a trend upwards in methane levels.
After seven years [of zero growth] methane has started to rise again to growth rates of the early 1990s
If methane concentrations continue to grow at the current rate then it will be once again the second-most important greenhouse gas to control after CO2 over the next few decades
Fraser says methane accounts for about 20% of all greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution.
It is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and comes from sources such as natural wetlands, rice fields, fires, coal mines and natural gas reticulation.
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