Scientists think the role of methane in global warming should be reconsidered

Le bétail est l’un des principaux responsables de nos émissions de méthane. Pour mieux apprécier ses effets à court terme sur le réchauffement climatique, des chercheurs de l’université de Stanford (États-Unis) recommandent de modifier la métrique employée depuis plusieurs années. © hramovnick, Adobe Stock

When we talk about global warming, we immediately think of carbon dioxide (CO)2) We sometimes quickly forget that there are other greenhouse gases. Methane (CH4) Especially. Its ability to suppress heat is remarkable. According to researchers, reducing emissions is now important to achieve the objectives set by the Paris Agreement.

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[EN VIDÉO] Visualization of methane emissions on the planet
In the video: Estimation of methane emissions by parts and sources of the globe and weight of emissions by latitude.

The Carbon dioxideFamous CO2 We all know now, and not only that Greenhouse gas (GHG) in our atmosphere. There are others. Many others. Steam (h20), for example. L ‘Ozone (Oh3), The Nitrous oxide (No.2O) or holocarbons – belong to a family called chlorofluorocarbons CFCs. Or something we begin to talk about more: methane (CH4)

It is quoted more and more because of its role Global warming Anthropology. In COP 26, 26And The Conference of Signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), more than half of the 105 countries represented. Emissions Anthropological sources of methane promise to reduce this emissions by 30% by 2030. Although the largest industrial methane leaks have been observed by satellite, researchers at Stanford University (USA) today provide us with a better understanding of the issues behind this confirmation.

To this end, it should be noted that not all greenhouse gases have the same global warming potential (GWP). The same ability to entangle Heat. Thus constantly reminded Ch4 It is a greenhouse gas with at least 25 times more energy than CO2. Understand that over a 100-year period – arbitrarily set by the Kyoto Protocol – one kilogram of methane produces 25 times more greenhouse effect than one kilogram of carbon dioxide. It’s already big. But Stanford researchers now point to the warming power of CH4 Highly underestimated. If we keep ourselves for a short period of time.

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Methane should not obscure CO2

In fact, The Duration Lifespan of CO2 There is no ratio of CH to our atmosphere4. We are talking about thousands of years, only the first ten years. So, if it’s important to reduce our CO drastically2 Researchers warn that in the near and distant future, it may be necessary to consider our short-term greenhouse gas emissions to control global warming by 2 ° C – or better yet, 1.5 ° C – above the pre-industrial average. As Methane.

According to them, the adoption of a new metric based on a period of not only 100 years, but only 24 years, will make it possible to realign the commitments to reduce CH emissions.4 On targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement. However, at this point in time, the GWP Methane 75 times more than CO2. What to put Light Its weight in the short term.

Other scientists are wary of the idea of ​​changing the deadline for setting the GWP of each greenhouse gas. They fear it will obscure the truth of the proceedings Reducing GHG emissions Short duration will only have a real effect for a certain period of time. The cooling effect will diminish over time. Therefore, they point out that while it may seem necessary to reduce our methane emissions, it is important to control our CO2 emissions in the long run.2.

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