Climate & Space Prof. Eric Kort is co-author on a new research paper that examines the various causes of atmospheric methane concentrations, as well as observation methods that could help in the effort to lessen the concentration of the gas in our atmosphere. The paper was published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
From the paper:
“Atmospheric methane plays a major role in controlling climate, yet contemporary methane trends (1982–2017) have defied explanation with numerous, often conflicting, hypotheses proposed in the literature.”
“…we discuss potential drivers of atmospheric methane abundances over the last four decades in light of various observational constraints as well as process-based knowledge. While uncertainties in the methane budget exist, they should not detract from the potential of methane emissions mitigation strategies. We show that net-zero cost emission reductions can lead to a declining atmospheric burden, but can take three decades to stabilize. Moving forward, we make recommendations for observations to better constrain contemporary trends in atmospheric methane and to provide mitigation support.”
Read the full paper: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/02/06/1814297116