To save the plants focus on cutting methane During the 40 years of climate debate, the world has focused exclusively on carbon dioxide, the most powerful and most climate-warming gas.
This year, scientists are calling for a focus on another powerful greenhouse gas, methane. This is the Earth’s best hope to prevent catastrophic global warming.
To save the plants focus on cutting methane Scientists must make “strong, rapid and sustainable reductions” in methane emissions in addition to reducing CO2 emissions, scientists said Monday’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Warned in a brief report.
This application can put tension on countries choosing natural gas as a clean alternative to CO2 bleached coal. It can also be a challenge for agriculture and livestock, especially in countries where livestock is an important industry.
But when both methane and CO2 warm the atmosphere, the two greenhouse gases are not equal. A single CO2 molecule produces less heat than a methane molecule, but remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years when methane disappears within 20 years.
“It puts even more pressure on the world about methane,” Druid Zell, a reviewer of the IPCC report, director of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development in Washington, DC, told reporters. Told.
“Methane cutting is the largest and fastest strategy to reduce global warming,” he told Ger.
But why is it methane?
Thanks to atmospheric emissions since the mid-1800s, the average global temperature today is already 1.1 ° C higher than the pre-industrial average. However, the earth also experiences warming of 0.5 degrees Celsius. If the sky is not filled with pollution, some of the sun’s radiation will return to space.
As the Earth moves away from fossil fuels and tackles air pollution, those aerosols can disappear and temperatures can rise.
Maisa Rojas Koradi, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Chile and author of the summary of the IPCC report, said rapid methane reduction could “cancele” this effect and improve air quality.
Globally, methane emissions have accounted for about 30% of global warming since before the Industrial Revolution, according to the United Nations.
However, the role of methane, aerosols and other short-term climate pollutants has not yet been discussed by the IPCC.
“This report focuses not only on the direct benefits of significantly reducing methane in terms of atmospheric concentrations, but also on the co-benefits of improving air quality for human health,” said Meteorology. And Jane Rubchenko, Deputy Director of the Environment, said. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Momentum of methane
According to the latest technology information and recent research, oil and gas production and methane emissions from land and livestock are underestimated.
Mark Bronstein, senior vice president of energy for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the report told oil and gas producers and consumers that they would “reduce oil and gas methane aggressively in their climate strategies. It is sending a strong signal to include the “plan”.
He said landfill and energy company emissions may be the most manageable. Large-scale agricultural methane is difficult because there is no scale-up alternative technology.
This year, the EU is proposing legislation that will force oil and gas companies to monitor and report methane emissions and repair leaks.
The United States plans to announce methane regulations by September, which is stricter than the rules enacted by the Obama administration, which was resurrected under former President Donald Trump.
The United States and the EU use more than one-third of the world’s natural gas.
However, Paolo Artaxo, co-author of the IPCC, an environmental physicist at the University of São Paulo, said major economies such as Brazil and Russia could become high methane emitters without strict regulations on oil and gas production and agriculture. It states that there is.
“It is very difficult to measure leaks from (methane) gas and wells,” he said. If the country hasn’t seen it, they can’t find it.
Some environmental groups and government officials are calling for global agreement on methane, including the Montreal Protocol to address ozone depletion.
Almond Cohen, executive director of the Boston-based climate technology group Clean Air Task Force, said such a deal could begin with methane from the oil and gas industry, which already has technology to prevent emissions. Said there is.
“It’s not rocket science. No external technology is needed,” he said. “Then let’s start from there.”