News spotlight: Report finds striking rise in 甲烷 排放

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More 甲烷 is being pumped into the atmosp在这里 than ever before, according to a 新的研究 from the World Meteorological Organization. 

的 rapid acceleration is threatening to hamper efforts to curb 气候变化, 史蒂文Mufson 而且 莎拉·卡普兰 报告 华盛顿邮报. 的 study reported a jump of 15 parts per billion in 2020, followed by an 18 parts per billion jump in 2021, the largest increases since records began in 1983.

“Methane concentrations are not just rising, they’re rising faster than ever,罗布·杰克逊, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University, told 华盛顿邮报.

Methane, the second-leading contributor to 气候变化, is 80倍强 at warming than carbon dioxide for the first 20 years it’s in the atmosp在这里. Methane is more important in the near term because it remains in the atmosp在这里 only for about a decade, 与碳 dioxide, which sticks around for hundreds to thous而且s of years. Slashing 甲烷 排放 is the quickest way to slow the pace of 全球变暖, scientists say.

的 majority of 甲烷 排放 come from agriculture — predominantly livestock — waste disposal 而且 fossil-fuel production. Methane is responsible for roughly 30 percent of 全球变暖, according to the 联合国 Environment Programme.

Researchers are working to underst而且 w在这里 the dramatic increases in 2020 而且 2021 came from. 的y could be from human-made natural gas 而且 industrial leakage, or “climate feedback” from natural sources such as rice paddies 而且 wetl而且s. 或者两者兼有.

的 WMO report came the same day the 联合国 released another critical warning, calling governments’ carbon reduction targets too weak to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5摄氏度(2.7华氏度).

“We are still now在这里 near the scale 而且 pace of emission reductions required,——西蒙·斯蒂尔, executive secretary of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, said in a statement.



在这些警告中, initiatives aimed at the protection of nature as a climate solution have taken center stage in recent weeks, including a novel “blueprint” for actions that governments 而且 companies can take to cut 排放 而且 bend 气候曲线. 

Conservation International 而且 the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 九月份发布了 首开先河 guide for maximizing nature’s role in tackling 全球变暖. 的 Exponential Roadmap for Natural Climate Solutions finds that to avoid catastrophic 气候变化, the l而且 sector — including agriculture 而且 forestry — must reach net zero 排放 by 2030.

“Making the most of nature’s potential to avert a climate crisis really boils down to three things: protecting, managing 而且 restoring Earth’s ecosystems,布朗森·格里斯科姆, who leads Conservation International’s science on natural climate solutions, told Conservation News in September.

For 甲烷, that means reimagining how we practice animal agriculture. Cattle produce massive amounts of 甲烷. Not only is agricultural expansion the largest driver of deforestation, the main culprit of food-fueled 排放 is

So far, data indicates biological sources are responsible, rather than 甲烷 from gas leaks. Stanford’s Rob Jackson said agriculture could be the main driver.

“It could even be the start of a dangerous warming-induced acceleration in 甲烷 排放 from wetl而且s 而且 other natural systems we’ve been worrying about for decades,他告诉《BB电子》.

Read the full story from 华盛顿邮报 在这里.

玛丽·凯特·麦考伊 is a staff writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates. 同时, please consider supporting our critical work.