(ORDO NEWS) — Emissions of methane, the planet’s warming gas, have risen by nine percent in a decade, according to a major international study.
The concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled since the industrial revolution.
Although there are a number of natural sources of methane, such as swamps and lakes, the research team concluded that 60 percent of CH4 emissions are currently man-made.
These sources fall mainly into three categories: the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels for energy, agriculture, including animal husbandry, and waste disposal.
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement states that countries are committed to limiting global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.
Although emissions are expected to decline slightly this year due to the pandemic, atmospheric methane levels are increasing by about 12 ppb each year.
This is in line with the scenario modeled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shows a warming of the Earth by 3-4 degrees Celsius by 2100.
“Reducing methane emissions will have a quick positive impact on the climate,” said Marielle Saunois, researcher at the French Laboratory for Climate and Environmental Sciences, which is leading the study.
“To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, it is necessary not only to reduce CO2 emissions, but also methane emissions.”
It is estimated that about 60 percent of anthropogenic methane emissions come from agriculture and waste, including up to 30 percent from the digestion of cattle and sheep.
Twenty-two percent is accounted for by the extraction and flaring of oil and gas, and 11 percent is in the world’s coal mines.
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