Greenhouse Gas Methane- Reduce Thrilling Consumptions

Methane as a greenhouse gas 

Methane (CH₄), carbon dioxide (CO₂), and other molecules contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect. Sunlight reflects energy as infrared with longer wavelengths; radiation can stimulate methane molecules instead of sending them across space. The atmosphere is heated enough. Methane is more efficient in collecting heat.

Methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas. It is degraded the atmosphere over the years. After equilibrium, it will continue to emit at a steady rate without increasing the amount of it on the surface.

Greenhouse Gas Methane
Methane, a threat and an opportunity.

Methane, a greenhouse gas, is potent. The methane concentration in the atmosphere is rising faster than it has ever been in the past since the 1980s. The methane generated by human activities causes about 25% of global warming.

Where is methane sourced?

Natural sources

Methane (CH₄) comes from the natural environment, including wetlands which comprise 78 percent of all natural emissions. Other sources of methane from nature include termites (12 percent) and oceans (10%)—animal digestion, with thermogenic sources like gas and oil production.

Natural gas: contains around 90 percent methane.

Wetlands: are a significant source of methane. They are responsible for 78 percent of all natural emissions. Methane-consuming microbes absorb a portion of wetland-related emissions. However, a substantial part of them escapes to the atmosphere. Wetlands release methane in the amount of 147 million tonnes every year.

Termites: contain bacteria that live in their guts and degrade plant matter. Like cows and other ruminants, one of the results from this process is methane; up to 12 percent of methane is from natural emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Methane
Methanogenesis in the digestive tracts of insects

A built-in filter system in their homes is designed to filter out methane, a greenhouse gas before it’s released into the atmosphere. They emit 23 million tonnes of methane every year.

Human sources

Anthropogenic sources like agriculture for livestock, rice cultivation, and burning natural gas and coal comprise about 70% of the total annual emissions, resulting in massive increases in the concentration in the coming years.

The oil wells may also contain methane deposits released during extraction and drilling.

Fossil fuels: The most significant human cause of pollution comes from the production, distribution, and burning of fossil fuels. It accounts for 33% of the methane emissions from human activity. Fossil fuels generate 110 million tons of methane every year.

Livestock emissions: Manure and other animal wastes – and releases from the gastroenteric tract are responsible for around 32 percent of methane from human causes emissions.

In normal digestion, animals release large amounts of methane. Enteric fermentation happens because of bacteria that live in the stomachs of the animals. The result is methane, a greenhouse gas as a byproduct, which can be exhaled by an animal or released through flatus.

Greenhouse Gas Methane
Methane production from livestock husbandry

Livestock farming produces the equivalent of 90 million tons of methane every year.

Agricultural methane: The methane produced in agriculture doesn’t come only from animals. However, paddy rice cultivation, where floods hinder oxygen from entering the soil, creating perfect conditions for methane-emitting bacteria, is responsible for an additional 8 percent of human-caused methane emissions. Rice cultivation produces 3 million tons of methane every year.

 Global warming potential of methane 

Greenhouse gas methane has the potential to cause global warming at 28 degrees over 100 years. This measure was designed to measure how much heat it entraps in the atmosphere. It means methane can absorb 28 times the thermal energy as a ton of carbon dioxide (CO₂). It makes methane a vital greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide.

Greenhouse Gas Methane
IPCC sixth assessment report, global warming potential

CH₄ released today lasts for around ten years; on average, that’s a lot shorter than CO₂. However, methane absorbs more energy than CO₂. The effect of the shorter lifespan and the higher energy absorption are evident in the potential for global warming. Methane’s GWP (global warming potential) also has indirect effects, for instance, being a precursor of the ozone gas, and that ozone is itself a greenhouse gas.

Methane is more hazardous than carbon dioxide.

Earth’s second-largest greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane, is relatively short-lived. However, methane plays an even more significant part in raising the planet’s temperature. In 100 years, methane will be 28 times more effective than carbon dioxide in increasing the earth’s temperature. Over 20 years, that ratio increased to about 80 times.

This gas is the principal cause of ground-level ozone (O₃). It is an air pollutant that is hazardous and a greenhouse gas. Exposure to this leads to one million deaths prematurely per year.

While CO2 may have more impact, methane is the primary driver of warming in the short future.

What are the effects of methane on the surroundings?

If methane escapes into the atmosphere, it reacts in various risky ways. In the first instance, methane disappears from the atmosphere via oxidation, which results in carbon dioxide and water vapor. Therefore, methane is not just contributing to global warming directly but also indirectly through emissions of CO₂.

Methane can also participate in the formation of the ozone layer, which reduces air quality and causes different health problems in animals, as well as too soon human deaths and decreased crop efficiency.

If gas comes from underground, burnt in power plants, or directly in structures, the health of humans is at risk. For instance, residents who live near gas wells are prone to increased chances of childhood leukemia, myocardial infarction, asthma exacerbation, newborn infant, and premature delivery.

Each year in the U.S., due to air pollution from commercial and residential heating, 200000 deaths are caused.

The reason we should reduce methane emission

Countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions significantly to ensure that global temperature targets remain within reach and minimize the risks of causing destabilization in the climate.

  • Methane emissions reduction could reduce the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce the genuine risk of “tipping points”–when the climate changes become self-sustaining. Methane remains in the atmosphere for only 12 years, compared to 1000 years of CO₂.
  • A reduction of 45% in methane emissions caused by humans in 2030 amounts equal to a decrease of 180 million tons of methane emissions each year. It will dramatically reduce the creation and exposure to ozone (O₃) at the ground level.

Eliminating methane today will safeguard humans’ health and increase crop yields.

What can we do to reduce methane emissions?

Any serious attempt to cool the planet will require completely removing fossil gas, around 90 percent of methane. The world’s greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 25 to 50 percent from levels in 2019 to keep global warming under 1.5-2 degrees Celsius. It is the primary purpose of the Paris Agreement.

Greenhouse Gas Methane
Our mission is to enable industries like the oil and gas sector to reduce their methane emissions.
  • Supplements for feeding cattle, the latest techniques for farming rice, modern approaches to leak detection for gas and oil, coal methane capture, and modern wastewater and water treatment facilities are all adequate.
  • Methane reduction strategies include putting a stop to the burning of fields following crop harvests, altering feed for animals so that they emit less amount of methane, and frequently taking out rice pads.
  • The mitigation strategies are to minimize waste disposed of in landfills, like composting and recycling, record methane gas emissions, and burn methane gas. This strategy is also known as flaring.

Methane detection technology to reduce emissions

People responsible for the emission must be aware of the technology available for methane recovery or the possibility of successful recovery projects. In developing nations, the availability of information, as well as education, could help in the development of support for methane recovery projects.

  • Advanced technologies for detecting methane emissions, such as gas Mapping LIDAR, are essential to reduce methane emissions. Gas Mapping LIDAR utilizes laser sensors attached to small aircraft to capture and analyze pipelines and oil infrastructure methane emissions. The aerial scanning technology can effectively cover large areas and detect more than 90% of methane emissions typical in production basins.
Greenhouse Gas Methane
Gas mapping LIDAR for large area leak detection
  • Vapor recovery units are placed over petrol and distillation containers to limit the immediate release of methane into the airspace. Gas-powered instruments that constantly release methane in small quantities can be restored with lower or zero-emitting devices across gas and oil systems.


It is time to focus on this potent greenhouse gas, an effective mitigation strategy. At the same time, we must reduce emissions of other gases, such as carbon dioxide. Apart from improving and implementing methane-reducing methods and techniques, the foods people choose to eat can reduce methane emissions.

Author: Mahvish ShamimHi, I am Mahvish Shamim. A chemist, and content writer. I love working with WordPress and doing it the right way. Also passionate about spreading awareness about the environmental crisis. Through my skills, I will deliver high-quality work.

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