In this article, we will discuss Methane Emission. So, let’s get started.
Harmful Effects of Methane Gas
- Methane is an invisible gas that can significantly exacerbate the climate crisis. It is a hydrocarbon that is a major constituent of natural gas used as fuel to run stoves, heat homes, and also to power industries.
- Methane can be thought of as a thicker blanket than carbon dioxide — one that is capable of warming the planet to a greater extent in a shorter period.
- It has an immediate effect on warming the planet. However, unlike carbon dioxide which remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, methane exerts its warming effects for roughly a decade.
- Methane pollution, which is a primary component of ground-level ozone and emitted alongside toxic chemicals such as benzene, has been linked to heart disease, birth defects, asthma and other adverse health impacts.
Sources of Methane
- Biological Sources: There are biological sources of methane – it is made from some organic compounds by methane-generating microbes known as methanogens.
- Methanogens are found in various natural environments where little or no oxygen is present.
- Such environments include wetlands, landfills that are not well vented, and submerged paddy fields.
- Agriculture: Agriculture is the predominant source of global methane emissions. Livestock emissions – from manure and gastroenteric releases – account for roughly 32% of human-caused methane emissions. Cows also belch out methane.
- Paddy rice cultivation – in which flooded fields prevent oxygen from penetrating the soil, creating ideal conditions for methane-emitting bacteria – accounts for another 8% of human-linked emissions.
- Emissions from Fuel and Industries: Fugitive emissions of methane from gas, coal, and oil sites are contributing to the climate crisis, but the extent of leakage of this potent greenhouse gas has been difficult to determine.
- Methane leakage occurs at every stage of the supply chain from extraction and transport to use in homes and industries.
- Much of the methane being released is due to “ultra-emitters”, which spew out copious amounts of the gas.
Recent Emissions from Permian Basin -l
- Findings from helicopters and drones armed with infrared cameras, and satellite images have shown larger amounts of leakage of methane from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, US.
- A new study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has estimated over 9% of gas production in the Permian Basin being leaked as emissions, in contrast to the 1.4% predicted by the US Environmental Protection Agency.