Methane emissions poses great threat to global warming

Globally, 50-65 percent of total CH4 emissions come from human activities. In 2018, methane (CH4) accounted for about 9.5 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane is emitted from energy, industry, agriculture, and waste management activities.
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Nature and Context

Methane's lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 is 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.

Symptoms and Causes
  • Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil.

  • Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.

  • Domestic livestock such as cattle, swine, sheep, and goats produce CH4 as part of their normal digestive process.

  • Natural gas and petroleum systems are the second largest source of CH4 emissions in the United States.

  • Methane is generated in landfills as waste decomposes and in the treatment of wastewater. 

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