Methane Release Poses Climate Risks
Methane, a powerful chemical compound also known with the chemical symbol CH4, is at least 22 times as powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide CO2. Methane can be found naturally everywhere on our planet. Due to methane´s attributions, it is commonly used for e.g. the production of energy. In fact, around two thirds of all methane sources on our planet today are anthropogenic, i.e. man-made, through the burning of fossil fuels. Methane, which today accounts for around 14 % (per cent) of total greenhouse gas emissions on Earth, is so powerful that it accounts for more than one third of all human-caused warming on our planet.
According to Global Methane Initiative, half of all methane emissions globally come from agriculture, coal mines, landfills, oil & natural gas systems and wastewater. The following chart, Estimated Global Anthropogenic Methane Emissions by Source 2010, shows the main methane sources through human activities worldwide, whereby rice cultivation alone accounts for 10% (per cent) of all methane released into Earth´s atmosphere. Enteric fermentation (animal farming) accounts for 29% of all methane emissions, biomass 3%, stationary and mobile 1%, agriculture (manure) 4%, coal mining 6%, landfills 11%, oil and gas 20%, wastewater 9% and other agriculture sources 7%.
According to the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), there are many economic and inexpensive ways of reducing methane emissions worldwide. Not only do we have the possibility worldwide to transfer our economies into using sustainable, renewable sources of energy such as solar energy and wind energy, but to make overall production more efficient in terms of methane releases within already existing technologies in industries that account for all anthropogenic methane (and, other greenhouse gas) emissions.
Learn more about reducing methane emissions in oil and gas production by watching Climate & Clean Air Coalition´s video “Reducing Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Production”:
Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys – for climate-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank & to receive my newsletter delivered personally to you, subscribe to Leading With Passion