Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is not enough to solve the climate crisis. The world also needs to move quickly to reduce emissions of another powerful greenhouse gas: methane.
This is in new report From the IPCC Climate Committee, which will appear on Monday. One major caveat from climate scientists is the major role methane plays in global warming. Carbon-rich gas is produced through livestock farming, shale gas generation, and traditional, poorly maintained oil and gas wells. Methane can heat the Earth 80 times faster than carbon dioxide, but it has a shorter life. After about ten years in the atmosphere, it turns into carbon dioxide.
Climate scientist Durwood Zaelke of the IPCC says reducing methane may be the only way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. If the weather becomes warmer, severe weather will reach a “tipping point”.
In recent years, the amount of methane in the atmosphere has increased sharply, mainly due to shale gas production, oil exploration, and meat production. One of the main reasons is poor maintenance of oil and gas wells in Russia.
“Today, more than 40 percent of EU gas comes from Russia, which is worse for the climate than coal,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former White House climate adviser. “The EU should start regulating methane emissions for all gas imports.”
Zelke: “Reducing methane is our best chance of combating global warming between now and 2040. We have to confront this emergency.”Bronn (nen): Watchman