Climate Forcing Methane

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Referring to my previous posts about methane and its impacts on climate change and the environment;

Methane Release Poses Climate Risks

Climate Amplifier Methane

Methane is an Environmental Wildcard

methane is a powerful greenhouse gas which can be found naturally all around our planet. In addition, most human activities produce and release the invisible, odorless and tasteless greenhouse gas methane into Earth´s atmosphere, drastically increasing the greenhouse effect that is warming up our planet. The amount of methane in Earth´s atmosphere has never been as high as in the past 150 years, and this is due to industrialization.

The vast majority of anthropogenic methane release into Earth´s atmosphere is caused through agriculture and oil/gas production. Agriculture and animal farming, especially enteric fermentation, account directly for at least 50 per cent of all methane emissions (see figure below), followed by oil and gas with 20 per cent. Decreasing anthropogenic methane emissions through innovative and sustainable practices is thus necessary in order to stop our Earth´s climate from warming due to human activities. This can be accomplished through 1) improving and making current practices more efficient; 2) reducing/minimizing the usage of fossil fuels as energy sources 3) transforming agricultural and farming practices.

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When greenhouse gas emissions constantly increase in Earth´s atmosphere, these warm the climate especially fast in the Arctic region, which acts as a natural refrigerator on our planet. With a rapidly warming Arctic region (and, a warming Antarctica), more and more methane is being released into Earth´s atmosphere, accelerating the warming of Earth everywhere, not only in the Polar regions. Exactly how strongly additional methane and other greenhouse gas emissions will affect the warming of the Arctic (and, the whole world), is not known. Methane is being referred to as a climate amplifier and an environmental wild card since the increase of this powerful greenhouse gas in Earth´s atmosphere can present us with sudden and unexpected changes in our planet´s climate system. This is why methane emissions have to be investigated and studied carefully, and caution must be taken in its additional production.

According to the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), reducing the amount of methane release in all sectors involved leads to many benefits, including better protection of the environment, overall health factors, workplace safety where concerned, less pollution and cleaner air.

Learn more about climatic forcings by watching Middlebury Environmental Geology´s video “Climatic forcings and feedbacks (class 21-v2):

 

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.

 

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Climate Amplifier Methane

Arctic (31)

In my previous post, Methane is an Environmental Wildcard, I wrote a short introduction to what methane is and how it affects our environment. The Arctic Institute is one of the organizations worldwide that has been conducting research upon methane and its impacts in the Arctic region. As a reminder, the Arctic region consists of all the areas upon Earth that are located above the Arctic circle, all the way to the North Pole. The Arctic region thus, includes parts of the United States, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

According to The Arctic Institute, with headquarters in Oslo, Norway, methane is the second most emitted greenhouse gas on our planet after carbon dioxide. The problem with methane emissions is that it is at least 22 times stronger than carbon dioxide, which makes it especially dangerous when released into Earth´s atmosphere. In addition, according to The Arctic Institute, most methane emissions are being released in geographical areas south of the Arctic region, but much of which end up IN the Arctic warming its climate faster.

The Arctic region itself is also a huge “storage room” for methane, which can be found under permafrost. When permafrost thaws, previously naturally stored methane reserves are released into our atmosphere, our soils and our oceans (and, other water sources), causing additional warming through a greenhouse effect. By now, everyone who has been following and reading my posts should be aware of what greenhouse gases are, and how they contribute to climate change and the rapid warming on our planet.

Greenhouse gases are natural to a certain extent on our planet, but with the rate they have been released through human activities into Earth´s atmosphere in the past one hundred years only, has drastically increased the greenhouse effect and the warming of our planet. This is why we have no other option than to transform our local/global economies into sustainable solutions. Sustainability means that we find completely new, fossil-free (free from the usage of coal, gas, and oil as energy sources) means of energy production, something that has been widely understood in many parts and countries in our world already.

Texas, which has always been known as an oil-producing state in the U.S.A., has since long transformed its energy production to using for instance solar energy and wind energy. China is doing the same, in addition to China investing immense amounts of money into the African continent with new solar energy plants. The United Arab Emirates is also investing heavily into renewable energy sources, as are Denmark and Sweden. In short, we have many options regarding renewable energy sources: solar energy, wind energy, ocean energy. We could easily provide the whole world with solar energy only, if we just wanted to. The need for environmentally damaging and harmful sources of energy, including dams, nuclear plants, oil drilling, gas drilling and coal burning will become less and less attractive. The sooner the better. We deserve to create and to live on a healthy planet, with clean air, healthy water sources (lakes, rivers, oceans), and healthy soils. A healthy, pollution-free environment is a basic human right, for every citizen on our planet.

Learn more about the Arctic region, the Arctic Sea and methane by watching Climate State´s video “Methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (2017)”:

 

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.

 

Take a step further to create YOUR online business. Learn more about the many benefits of how to create a beautiful website with WordPress.com and how to monetize your blog/website: 

 

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How Can Greenhouse Gases Be Removed From Earth´s Atmosphere?

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“EC. Climate Change Key Terms. Sink = Any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.”

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Note from author: As stated by The Environmental Literacy Council, greenhouse gases in Earth´s atmosphere play a significant role by creating an artificial greenhouse effect and thus warming the Earth´s overall temperature, leading to a number of consequences around the globe, such as melting glaciers and the rising of sea levels. Furthermore, when discussing the release of greenhouse gases into Earth´s atmosphere we refer to a source, while a sink “is a reservoir which takes up a chemical element or compound.” (The Environmental Literacy Council). In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has since the early 1990´s prepared the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. This annual report by the EPA reveals detailed statistics and an inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks from 1990-2015. (EPA 2017).

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