Emissions of Methane (CH4)

Emissions of Methane (CH4)

Postby fwiggins » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:44 pm

This is the total anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions from the sectors energy, industrial processes, solvent and other product use, agriculture, land use change and forestry, and waste. Natural emissions are not accounted for in this indicator. The unit of measurement is tonnes CH4 per year. CH4 is a powerful greenhouse gas whose levels have already doubled. The main purpose of this indicator is to monitor total anthropogenic CH4 emissions.

The indicator is linked to the indicators of other greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the indicator is linked with those in the area of Ozone Depletion. CH4 emissions are believed to affect stratospheric ozone depletion. Moreover, ozone is also a greenhouse gas, and therefore changes in stratospheric ozone should be considered in assessing climate change.

The main sources of CH4 are agriculture (mainly flooded rice paddies and livestock), waste dumps, coal mining and natural gas production and transportation. CH4 is besides a direct greenhouse gas also a precursor of tropospheric ozone and stratospheric water vapour.

The radiative forcing capacity (RF) is the amount of energy per unit area per unit time, absorbed by the greenhouse gas, that would otherwise be lost to space.

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