Sunday, 8 October 2017

Cattle behind unexplained surge in methane emissions, US study finds

The study found that for 2011, global emissions were 8.4 per cent higher from enteric fermentation and 36.7 per cent higher from manure management, compared with research by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

When it comes to climate change, we know where the most important warming agent - carbon dioxide - is coming from.

Most of it is coming from the burning of fossil fuels, with some additional contributions from deforestation and other causes.

But the second most potent greenhouse warming agent - the hard-hitting, if short-lived, gas known as methane - presents more of a mystery. There has clearly been an alarming uptick in atmospheric methane in recent years, following a flattening of concentrations from 2000 to around 2007.

Some blamed the fracking industry for increases in atmospheric methane.

But the cause of this particular pattern has been hotly debated, with some blaming the fracked natural gas boom (natural gas is primarily composed of methane), and others pointing to other causes, such as agriculture

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