Climatologists from Stanford University in the USA have analyzed the concentration of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past seventeen years and concluded that its share has increased by 9% over this time: this is a record value. The results of the study were published by the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters.
According to climatologists, the increase in average temperatures around the world is one of the direct evidence of an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases, including CO2, methane, and nitrogen compounds.
At the end of the 19th century, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 285 ppm (ppm), while by the middle of the last century it had reached 315 ppm. Now, this figure is already above 400 ppm.
The two main sources of this increase are emissions associated with the production and use of natural gas, as well as the livestock industry. Cows and other cattle produce almost as much methane as the entire oil and gas industry.
Robert Jackson, one of the authors of the research, professor at Stanford University.
The results of their work showed that the balance between the formation of new and the cleavage of old methane molecules were violated as early as the mid-2000s. As a result, the concentration and total mass of gas in the atmosphere began to grow rapidly, increasing by 50 million tons (9%) compared to the typical level of the beginning of the 21st century.
According to climatologists, the collected data should push the governments of all countries of the world to actively monitor methane emissions and take measures to minimize them.