Methane emissions can be very dangerous
When we talk about greenhouse gases, the attention is usually on carbon dioxide (CO2). Now methane is another greenhouse gas that is a major factor in the climate change. Which is big issue that is facing the globe.
Methane gets little or no attention when talking about climate change. Unknowingly to humans that they are overlooking a more potent gas that poses even more dangerous impacts than carbon dioxide.
The effects of methane on the environment are devastating. As it adulterates the air quality, and is generated from oil and gas pipelines and cows.
However, lately, methane and other greenhouse gases. Such as ozone, sulfur oxides, and nitrous oxides are now getting the deserved attention. As a result of advanced scientific research being carried out.
Until recently, attention has been on carbon dioxide because it is seen as the largest contributor to climate change. It is from fossil fuel sources like coal smokestacks, tailpipes, and the burning of oil and gas.
The worrisome part is that CO2 sticks around in the atmosphere for many years thus making the problem of climate change, not just a present problem but also a future problem.
It is time to take methane seriously if we are to tackle climate change the way it should be tackled. This is why the international climate conference in Glasgow focused more on Methane as a cause of climate change.
This saw more than 100 countries signing up voluntarily for the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane pollution by at least 30% by the end of the current decade.
The United States President, Joseph Biden is championing this initiative together with the European Union.
The biggest methane polluters include China and Russia, this two have not even joined the global pledge showing that the world is not fully aware of the dangers that methane pollution poses to climate change.
Although methane is not as popular as Methane, it plays an important role in the climate crisis facing the world. In 20 years, methane has as much as 80 times the ability to trap heat as carbon dioxide.
Hence, as attention is on carbon dioxide concerning tackling climate change. There should also be a methane strategy in place if we are to fully win the war against climate change.
The oil and gas industry has pushed the blame of being responsible for methane pollution on other sources but scientists have argued against this.
The increase in Methane pollution is due to fossil fuels from North America, and agriculture from Brazil, West Asia, and North Africa.
Scientists are clear on the fact that human beings are the major cause of the increase in methane pollution.
To tackle methane pollution, countries have to have a better understanding of which sectors it is coming from and in that way, the sources can be adjusted or cut off completely if possible.
Scientists are still trying to identify the major sources of methane although some leak out from permafrost and from the grounds where oil is explored.
To combat the problem of methane pollution, the starting point should be ensuring there are no leaks. Doing this will be easier when scientists have enough data regarding where methane is leaking.