Methane has a global warming potential (GWP) over a hundred years 21 times more than carbon dioxide, and 56 times when considering a time period of twenty years. And now the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that the concentration of methane in the atmosphere because it has increased by 158% over pre-industrial level while CO2 has increased "only" 38%.
Methane has a global warming potential (GWP) over a hundred years 21 times more than carbon dioxide, and 56 times when considering a time period of twenty years. And now the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that the concentration of methane in the atmosphere because it has increased by 158% over pre-industrial level while CO2 has increased “only” 38%.
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The problem is that, although methane is much lower concentrations in the atmosphere (1.80 parts per million-ppm) than carbon dioxide (390 ppm), it is responsible for 18% of the greenhouse effect caused by human activities. To underline the seriousness of this new data, a company that works in the field zeroing of greenhouse gases mainly by reducing the methane released from landfills of Italian and European. “Only in Italy, landfill sites account for 30% of methane emissions from production activities: in absolute terms it is equivalent to 11 million tonnes of CO2, the same amount produced by all cars in circulation in the Lazio region,” says Francesco Galanzino. “Methane is a greenhouse gas that has a 21 to 33 times greater than CO2, according to the methods of assessment,” says Galanzino. “The European and Italian laws require states to eliminate 100% of the leakage of biogas from landfills” adds Galanzino.
One of the main sources of methane are the manure of cattle and ruminants in general. They are responsible for 37% of all emissions of methane on the planet. But about 60% of methane emissions have human origin, as explained by the co-director of the research department of the WMO, Len Barrie. “If we continue as if nothing had happened, we do not reach the levels of atmospheric concentration needed to hold 2 degrees Celsius global warming” added Barrie. “If we want to begin to lower the levels of greenhouse gases, we must stop all emissions of methane.” he says.
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Methane produces global warming and rising temperatures, especially at Arctic latitudes, melts the permafrost (permanently frozen ground) that releases methane into the air and feeds the cycle. Economic crisis has helped to bring down a very significant way in CO2 emissions. According to a study published last November 21 in the journal Nature Geoscience, in fact, in 2009, carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by only 1, 3% from its peak of 2008. And in 2010, with the economic recovery not only in emerging countries but also largely in the more industrialized, the increase in CO2 emissions will be equal to 3%, by returning to those levels for the period 2000-2008. With the partial success of the agreement reached at the climate summit in Cancun, that will come to nothing unless you act quickly. for not only carbon dioxide but also emissions of methane.