Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
Research led by the University of Reading indicates that emissions of methane due to human activity have, to date, caused a warming effect which is about one-third of the warming effect due to carbon dioxide emissions – this methane contribution is 25% higher than previous estimates.
The new study, by Maryam Etminan and colleagues, is published in the American Geophysical Union's journal Geophysical Research Letters. The full report is open access and freely available.
The scientists calculated that, while carbon dioxide remains by far the most significant gas driving human-induced climate change, methane, while much less abundant, is even more potent than previously thought. They found that a one tonne emission of methane has the equivalent warming effect of 32 tonnes of carbon dioxide – up from the previous estimate of 28.
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