Rising Risk, Global Methane Budget: No Methane Bomb in Arctic YET

Global Methane Budget: No “Methane Bomb” in the Arctic YET. Risk is RISING // Jul 27, 2020

The latest science on the Global Methane Budget was recently published in a landmark paper authored by over 70 multidisciplinary scientists. No methane bomb has ignited yet in the Arctic; for latitudes 60 to 90N methane emissions are 4 percent of the total budget as of 2017.

  • About 2/3 of methane emissions are from latitude 90S to 30N, mostly from tropical equatorial regions.
  • The remaining 1/3 of methane emissions are from latitude 30 to 60N. Atmospheric methane concentration is rapidly rising, mostly from 2 sources; namely from agriculture and fossil fuels.

Ref:  Global CH4 Monthly Means.
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Global Methane Budget: Rapid Atmospheric Methane Rise Mostly From Agriculture and Fossil Fuels // Jul 27, 2020

Recent papers on the Global Methane Budget are vital reading. Atmospheric methane concentration is rapidly rising from 2 main sources; namely agriculture (mostly livestock) and fossil fuels (mostly fracking).

Two basic approaches to study methane exist;

  • 1) Bottom Up (BU) – individual gas sources are summed up to get total emissions, and
  • 2) Top Down (TD) – satellite based sensors measure the atmospheric methane in columns of air and sum the individual readings to get a total.

Since the start of the industrial revolution in 1750 the cumulative methane forcing is about 25% of the total, which is dominated by CO2.

Ref:  Global methane levels soar to record high, 14 JULY 2020.  Quirin Schiermeier
Ref2:  Methane Tracker 2020.

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Ref3:  Increasing anthropogenic methane emissions arise equally from agricultural and fossil fuel sources.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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