NOAA: Strong heat trapping methane increases at record pace | Chicago News

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, a truck unloads a large amount of garbage at the Southkent Veterinary Philharmonic in Byron Township, Michigan. (Mike Clark / Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that global atmospheric levels of powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas methane have risen to record levels, worried that methane is playing a major role in climate change. ..

Preliminary levitation levels of methane jumped to 17 ppb, reaching 1895.7 ppb last year. According to NOAA, methane has risen at record rates, rising 15.3 ppb in 2020 compared to 2019 for the second consecutive year. Lindsay Lan, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA and the University of Colorado, states that methane levels are now well above twice the pre-industrial 720 ppb.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane has been a major cause of climate change, with temperatures rising by about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius) since the 19th century. Carbon dioxide caused about 50% more warming than methane.

“This trend of accelerating methane growth is very disturbing,” said Robert Howarth, a methane researcher at Cornell University.

Methane is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat. But it lasts only nine years in the air, not thousands of years like carbon dioxide, Ran said. Many countries have low methane emissions last year in a global effort to limit future warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius (2.7 or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) because it does not last long in the air. Agreed to target as. -Industrial era. The world has already warmed up from 1.1 degrees Celsius to 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2 to 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

“To limit warming this century to less than 2C, we need to dramatically reduce methane emissions. Today we are clearly going in the wrong direction,” said Stripe and Berkeley Earth’s climate. Scientist Zeke Hausfather said in an email. “Methane reduction has significant climate benefits (it does not slow or stop warming) because it is the only greenhouse gas that can rapidly cool the climate by reducing emissions.”

NOAA has been tracking atmospheric methane levels since 1983.

According to Ran, early signs indicate the natural cause of methane jumps due to the La Niña phenomenon, which is a natural and temporary cooling of parts of the Pacific Ocean that change weather around the world, but still early. am. La Niña tends to rain more in some tropics, with record increases for the second consecutive year while La Niña shows methane escaping from wetlands.

Methane is also a natural gas and is an increasingly used energy source. Methane comes from livestock, human-made agriculture, and landfills. Scientists are also afraid of future releases of trapped methane in the sea and on frozen lands in the Arctic, but there are no signs that it is happening on a large scale.

According to Rob Jackson, a climate scientist at Stanford University, the key question is whether this increasing trend could add to the problem of climate change, or methane-destroying nitrogen oxides due to less pollution in automobiles and industry. Is it a pandemic-related blip due to the decrease in things?

“It’s like something else instead of COVID,” Lan said. She shows high levels in 2020 and then even higher in 2021, when the blockade is eased, distracting from the effects of the pandemic.

Both fossil fuels and agriculture are key to increasing methane, according to Howarth. But he strongly points out that “my research is that fossil fuels are the number one cause of the increase since 2008, and that the increase in emissions from hydraulic fracturing in the United States from shale gas production is a major part of it. I’m doing it. “

In last year’s study, Lan looked at chemical isotopes to determine where the steady increase in methane emissions since 2006 came from. She said the chemical characteristics showed that fossil fuels were directed to either greater guilty and more natural wetland emissions or agriculture.

NOAA also said that last year’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 2.66 ppm through 2020. This is one of the highest increases in history, but it is not a record. The annual average of carbon dioxide in 2021 was 414.7 ppm. Before the Industrial Revolution, it was about 280ppm. According to NOAA, carbon dioxide is the highest since about 4.3 million years, when sea level was about 75 feet (23 meters) higher and average temperatures were about 7 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 degrees Celsius) higher.

“Our data show that global emissions are rapidly moving in the wrong direction,” NOAA Chief Rick Spinrad said in a statement.

NOAA: Strong heat trapping methane increases at record pace | Chicago News

Source link NOAA: Strong heat trapping methane increases at record pace | Chicago News

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