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  • 21 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Methane Emission Report

Methane Emission Report

  • In a study recently published under the title "Wetland emission and atmospheric sink changes explain methane growth in 2020," it is suggested that in 2020, record-high levels of methane emissions were probably caused by warming wetlands and low nitrogen oxide pollution.

What are the Findings?

  • Summary: Global methane emissions increased from 9.9 parts per billion (ppb) in 2019 to approximately 15 ppb in 2020.
  • Human-related methane emissions decreased by 1.2 teragrams (Tg) annually in 2020.


  • Compared to 2019, methane emissions from natural gas and oil decreased by 3.1 Tg annually.
  • Coal mining's contributions decreased by 1.3 Tg annually. Additionally, fire emissions decreased by 6.5 Tg annually.
  • According to the study, global fire emissions appear to have decreased from 2019 to 2020.
  • Agriculture increased its annual contributions by 1.6 Tg.
  • Emissions from wetlands grew by 6.0 Tg annually.
  • The conditions in water-logged soils are ideal for soil microorganisms, which allows them to produce more methane.
  • 2020 saw a 6% decrease in nitrogen oxide levels from 2019. Less nitrogen oxide pollution results in more methane and less hydroxyl.
  • Electric power plants and automobile exhaust gases both release nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere.
  • Methane levels may be impacted by nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx and ozone combine in the troposphere, the upper layer of the atmosphere, to create hydroxyl radicals.
  • 85% of the methane produced each year is then removed from the atmosphere by these radicals.
  • About 7.5 Tg less methane was removed each year as a result of hydroxyl radicals.
  • Lower hydroxyl sinks are responsible for about 53% of the methane growth, with natural sources (primarily wetlands) accounting for the remaining 47%.

What is the Study's Importance?

  • It may be able to explain why global methane increased in 2020 while many other greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, decreased.
  • The findings have important ramifications for our capacity to accurately predict changes in methane in a future world with lower anthropogenic emissions of pollutants like nitrogen oxides and if the world becomes wetter.

About methane:

  • The simplest hydrocarbon is methane, which has just one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4).
  • It is flammable and used as fuel all over the world.
  • A potent greenhouse gas is methane.
  • Over the first 20 years of its lifetime in the atmosphere, methane has a warming effect that is more than 80 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.
  • Oil and natural gas systems, agricultural practices, coal mining, and wastes are some of the common sources of methane.
  • Impact: Increased global warming In terms of its ability to cause global warming, it is roughly 80–85 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • This makes it a crucial objective for halting global warming more quickly and reducing other greenhouse gases at the same time.
  • Tropospheric ozone air pollution, which results in more than a million preventable deaths each year, is on the rise as a result of rising emissions.

What programs are in place to combat methane emissions?


"Harit Dhara" (HD):

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has created an anti-methanogenic feed supplement that can increase milk production while reducing methane emissions from cattle by 17–20%.

Greenhouse Gas Program in India:

  • A voluntary framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions, the India GHG Program is led by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and WRI India, a nonprofit organisation.
  • The program develops comprehensive measurement and management strategies to lower emissions and encourage Indian businesses and organisations to become more successful, competitive, and sustainable.

NAPCC, or the National Action Plan on Climate Change:

  • The NAPCC was established in 2008 with the goal of raising awareness of the threat posed by climate change and the steps to counter it among the representatives of the public, various government agencies, scientists, industry, and communities.

Stage-VI Bharat Norms:

  • India changed its emission standards from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI).

Methane Alert and Response System (MARS):

  • MARS will combine information from numerous current and future satellites that can locate methane emission events worldwide and notify the necessary parties so they can take appropriate action.

Methane Global Pledge:

  • Nearly 100 nations joined forces in a voluntary pledge, known as the Global Methane Pledge, to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% from the levels in 2020 by 2030 at the Glasgow climate conference (UNFCCC COP 26) in 2021.

GMI: Global Methane Initiative

  • A global public-private partnership is working to lower obstacles to the extraction and use of methane as a clean energy source.

Source: Down To Earth

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