Did you know that methane is 28 times more powerful at warming the planet than carbon dioxide? Or, that since the Industrial Revolution methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled? Methane gas, though not as widely talked about as carbon dioxide, is becoming more and more detrimental to our planet.
Methane is a simple gas, meaning there is a single carbon atom for 4 hydrogen atoms. Because of this, methane has an average lifespan of about 12 years. Even though methane concentrations in the environment are 200 times less than carbon dioxide, methanes cellular structure is extremely effective at trapping heat. Scientists are reporting that over 60% of methane in the atmosphere is human related. The remaining 40% comes from natural sources such as burping from lakes, wetlands and melting ice in the Artic. Let’s take a look at some additional facts on methane emissions. .
Methane Emission Facts:
- Animals in the meat and dairy industry make up 40% of methane gas emissions.
- About 14% of the US methane gas emissions are caused by landfills. Microbes in landfills and sewage treatment centers chomp through the detritus humans leave behind and in the process pump out tons of methane each year.
- Recent studies show wells in the U.S. alone are producing about 60% more methane than previously estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- 2017, methane accounted for about 10.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
- Natural gas and petroleum systems are the largest source of methane emissions in the United States.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. With 10.2% methane emissions stemming from landfill waste, reducing the amount of waste is imperative.
- Recycle properly. Research proper methods of recycling.
- Compost, compost, compost! Adding organic material such as fruits, vegetables, and leftover food to landfills creates high levels of methane from fermentation.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Reduce your animal consumption. Start by trying meatless Mondays and watch you health and the health of the planet improve.
- Cut down on your energy consumption. Purchase energy efficient appliances, lightbulbs and electronics.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Contact the EPA to request an increase in regulation regarding methane gas emissions.