Isn’t It Time We Talked About Methane Emissions?

Roshni Khatri

30th Apr'22

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and has an adverse impact on the environment. All the corporations, NGOs and entrepreneurs are focusing on carbon reduction. It is an aspect that should be welcomed. It is the time of new carbon that requires the attention of the world. 

In the past few years, methane has gotten too little attention. People are not aware of spewing greenhouse gas that is even more potent than carbon dioxide. We are releasing tremendous gasses into the atmosphere and it harms the air quality and occurs due to cows, landfills, oil and gas pipelines. Methane and other greenhouse gasses like ozone, nitrous oxide and sulfur oxide are getting the attention and it is essential too. It is essential to focus on the mitigation of these hazardous gasses and by following the sustainable development goals, we can protect the environment and the earth both.

 

What is Methane?

Methane is a combo of carbon and hydrogen and is produced through the biological decomposition of organics like landfills, swamps, and even shallow bedrock. Besides this Methane can be derived from high temperature and high pressure that produces fossil fuels deep under the ground. Like coal deposits, natural gas and oil accumulation processes. With this, Methane can migrate into the well and underground water also. 

 

Methane Emission

 

Where Does Methane Come From?

Agriculture is the prime source of release of methane. With this livestock emissions such as manure and gastroenteric release is solely liable for almost 32 percent of human-caused methane emissions. With this, the increasing population, economic development, demand for animal protein and urban mobility is the important source of methane release. 

As far as agriculture methane is concerned, it doesn’t come from the animals, rather it derives from rice cultivation, where the flooded field stops the oxygen flow in the soil and produces the ideal conditions for the methane bacteria. 

 

Why Do We Have to be Concern about Methane Emissions?

Methane is the prime element for ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas that is the cause of death of millions of people. It is a powerful greenhouse gas that is warmer than carbon dioxide. It exceeds the temperature of the earth and affects the climate system. 

 

Methane Emission

The amount of methane in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing day by day. The prime source of methane emissions is the extraction, storage and transportation of oil, natural gas, and coal, which results in the release of almost 97 million metric tons of gas each year. The United States aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2020 and 2030. Most nations estimate the methane emissions by using the records of fossil fuels they produce each year. 

Today Methane emission is the prime cause of global warming. They come from natural sources in the energy sector, oil, natural gas, coal and bioenergy. It affects the climate as there are several adverse impacts of climate change. It is essential to manage the methane emissions from human activity. There are many reasons to focus on emissions from oil and gas. 

 

Methane Emission

 

The update of the IEA Global Methane Tracker (2022) states, for the first time, a complete set of country-level estimates of methane emissions taking place from the energy sector. Making the Tracker an indispensable resource to bring down the effects of methane emissions and implement the new Global Methane Pledge. 

By controlling the Methane emissions, global warming can be controlled. The Global Methane Tracker has set some parameters to regulate some methane reduction policies and regulations across major countries. 

 

Strategies to Reduce Methane Emissions

The major part of methane emissions derives from three kinds of human activities: energy 35%, agriculture 40%, and waste 20%. Thus focusing on these segments can reduce the impact of methane emissions. 

Energy

One-third of global methane emissions are due to the energy sector and in it, oil and gas contribute a greater share. Methane emissions occur along with the supply chain of oil and gas and especially from the system upsets and deliberate flaring and venting. 

Cost-effective measures can help in reducing this emission like detecting the leak and repair programs, implementing better technologies, and operating the practices to utilize the methane that can get wasted when not used.

 

Methane Emission

 

Food

Agriculture is another major cause of global methane emissions from cow burps, rice cultivation and manure management. We can adopt improved agriculture practices to enhance the livestock, and incomes from the crops and at the same time can reduce the methane emission. By reducing food waste, we can bring down methane emissions. In this process the food manufacturers and consumers can take an active part by adopting the improved inventory systems, changing the labels of food dates, labeling or donating perishable products.  

Solid Waste

By implementing cost-effective mitigation solutions and by spearing the organics and recycling those can help in reducing the methane emissions. This assists in capturing the landfill gas and generating the energy that can bring down the methane emissions. Landfill gas utilization is the most important source of mitigating the emissions and their effects. But these projects require high capital costs and sometimes can be a deterrent in poorer jurisdictions. 

Thus it is our moral obligation to preserve nature and environmental resources for the other generations. With this, you should address the impacts of climate change and how you can help reduce it as it would be the ultimate solution to get rid of the emissions of hazardous gasses. 

 

Conclusion

Methane emission has become a major issue and we have to make collaborative efforts to reduce its impact. Several countries are taking the essential steps to bring down the impacts of methane emissions as it is liable for climate change, enhanced temperature and pollution. The good news is that by acting on the methane emissions, we can have several benefits like limiting the temperature rise, improving the air quality, and leading to better health outcomes. The steps of methane emissions can have significant impacts on governments and companies. Many solutions in the energy, food and waste reduction segments provide excellent opportunities and solutions for governments to meet the climate and development goals. 

Thus methane emission is the prime matter of concern, it is a global issue that can be resolved by collaborative efforts. We can work on human activities, to reduce methane emissions as it would save the earth from climatic changes and heat issues. 

 

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. Do share them in the comment section below.

A keen observer, who loves to spend time with nature. A fun loving person, enjoys to explore the new aspects of life. Passionate about reading and learning new things. Roshni is dedicated towards her work and has worked in different professions.

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