Read the full story at RMI.
As the world works to lower greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, there is one super pollutant that is headed in the wrong direction. For the second year in a row, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) scientists observed record annual increases in atmospheric methane. And this year’s increase is the largest ever recorded since measurements began four decades ago.
Methane has a global warming potential 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Climate scientists, political leaders, and civil society actors have begun to realize that reducing methane emissions now offers the single biggest opportunity to address near-term warming. Fortunately, many opportunities exist to reduce methane emissions, including plugging oil and gas leaks, rethinking waste disposal, and activating markets. But we first have to know where those emissions are coming from. By making the invisible visible, the rise in global methane emissions can be reversed.