Pulling methane from the atmosphere will slow global warming-if we know how to do it

“We probably couldn’t have had a greater impact on shaving at high temperatures in the next few decades than on methane removal,” he said. Rob Jackson, a Stanford researcher and coauthor of the same study.

Medhane is less methane: carbon dioxide is about 200 times more concentrated in the atmosphere. However, it contributes about 30% of total global warming to date, or about 0.5 ˚C, according to a recent study. report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Even if its life in the atmosphere is only about 10 years, in short time frames it is about 86 times as powerful as a greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide.

“Methane will disappear, but in the meantime, it will present problems,” he added Vaishali Naik, an atmospheric scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Due to its short life, if methane emissions are cut now, atmospheric levels will fall immediately. Just now The UN Environment Program report on methane that Naik coauthored, the researchers estimate that cutting methane emissions by 45% today could reduce warming by 0.28 ˚C in middle age – keeping the world at a target of no less than 1.5 ˚C. -heat at preindustrial levels, as defined in the Paris agreement.

About two-thirds of those cuts can be achieved using readily available solutions, Naik said. This includes plugging in punctured natural-gas wells and reducing reliance on coal mines, which are free methane stored beneath the earth’s surface that is produced when the plant matter is turned into charcoal. Cutting some emissions can be cheaper and quicker than scaling up removal technology, he said.

But in order to keep warming below 1.5 ˚C, methane emissions from industries such as agriculture must also be reduced-which can become more difficult as the population grows.

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