Two Green Leaves

Climate Change from the Affected Generation

Methane, Worse Than We Thought 13 March 2016 | Posted in News

     In my science class all we learned about was how bad C02 is, and we never even discussed the effects of the other greenhouse gases. For instance, Nitrous Oxide is 300 times more powerful at trapping heat than C02, which is enormous. Thankfully N2O isn’t as common as C02 however it’s not exactly rare, N2O is found in pesticides that aren’t organic and are cheap so have to be sprayed in large quantities generally in farms.

    Another Greenhouse Gas that's generally taken for granted is Methane (CH4).

    Old reports say CH4’s 20-28% stronger at trapping heat but more recent studies say it’s 80. This might seem small compared to N2O, however it’s even greater because CH4 is so much more abundant and recently growing at undeniably large rates.

    The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA released a report saying that Methane emissions are significantly higher than previously counted. In 2013 they measured 9.3 million metric tons but revised estimates are 27% higher than before. A new harvard study says:

    “US methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period…This large increase in US methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade.”

    Not only have we miscalculated the past data but we now know how much pollution has happened in the past decade that has lead to effects such as us hitting 2 degrees Celsius of warming and predictions of hurricanes being 45% worse in years to come.

    CO2 is still a threat to us but CO2 emissions from the energy sector in the United States declined by 675 million tons between 2005 and 2015, CO2 is still growing but in the US alone it did decrease which is great! But here's the bad news. All the work that went into dropping our carbon footprint as a country was almost forgotten because although we dropped 650 million metric tons of CO2, methane increased to an equivalent of 450 million metric tons of CO2 between 2002 to 2014 which means almost two thirds of all that work got erased by methane.

    Almost a year ago the EPA saw these changes and increases in Methane so proposed a rule to limit methane emissions from new sources in the oil and gas industry. The Bureau of Land Management is trying to limit Methane from operations of Federal Lands. Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and California all have been working hard to, they adopted rules to limit Methane pollution from oil and gas operations in the four states. With all this going on according to an ICF International study almost 90% of methane pollution will come from already existing sources.

    We showed that we dropped CO2 by 675,000,000 metric tons and we can do this with Methane, like I said we never learned about methane in my science class but before we never learned about CO2, so my point is we can still change and i'm confident that we will.

                 ~ Charlie

One comment

mary, on 04-04-’16 15:04

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