Methane's Role In Our Atmosphere

Over the years, countless people have undoubtedly heard the term “greenhouse gases” and have gathered from context that they are bad for the environment. Specifically what they do, as defined by the EPA, is “trap heat in the atmosphere” [1]. This naturally contributes to increasing average global temperatures. One of the most prevalent of these gases is methane. Those with a chemistry background will know that methane is the simplest and most abundant hydrocarbon in nature. However, although it occurs naturally, the EPA estimates that more than 60% of methane production is caused by humans [2]. According to the Environmental Defense Fund website, although carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas, methane is “84 times more potent” in the first 20 years upon being released [3]. They also estimate that approximately “25% of the manmade global warming we’re experiencing today is caused by methane emissions.” Of course, climate change is a very important topic for discussion as its consequences are, naturally, global in scale. As such, methane is an issue we should take a closer look at, and throughout this blog and the website we will be developing, we'll examine various aspects of the issue, including further negative effects, and potential solutions to help reduce its presence in our atmosphere.