Methane’s greenhouse effect is four times stronger than previously thought

(ORDO NEWS) — According to scientists, forest fires change the chemical composition of the atmosphere, making it difficult to naturally neutralize substances that affect global warming.

The impact of methane (CH4) on the climate is four times stronger than previously thought. This conclusion was reached by a scientific group from China and Singapore, according to The Guardian.

According to scientists, the amount of gas in the Earth’s atmosphere is rapidly increasing, and this may be due to changes in the composition of the air.

About 40% of methane emissions come from natural sources, and 60% from anthropogenic activities: animal husbandry, fossil fuel extraction and landfills.

Possible explanations for rising methane emissions range from increased oil and natural gas exploration, increased emissions from agriculture and landfills, and increased natural emissions as tropical wetlands warm and Arctic tundra melts.

Another factor may be related to the slowing down of the natural reaction that removes CH4 from the atmosphere with the help of hydroxyl radicals.

These elements neutralize harmful gas impurities, but in recent years, due to carbon monoxide from forest fires, their concentration in the air around the world has been declining.

“On average, a carbon monoxide molecule stays in the atmosphere for about three months before being attacked by a hydroxyl radical. Whereas methane is stored for about ten years.

Thus, the wildfires quickly used up the hydroxyl detergent and reduced methane removal,” explained Simon Redfern, a geologist at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

The authors of the study emphasized that the consequences of climate change could be even more extreme and dangerous than previously thought.

The situation with methane in the atmosphere requires an immediate reduction in anthropogenic emissions and intensification of the fight against forest fires.

Previously, Plus-one.ru talked about a study according to which the world community needs to fight not only carbon dioxide emissions, but also other greenhouse gases and air pollutants in order to effectively counteract global warming.

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