EU measures record amount of greenhouse gas methane

EU measures record amount of greenhouse gas methane

The concentration of the powerful greenhouse gas methane has never been higher than it was last year. This is evidenced by European satellite measurements, according to the annual report of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), a science program that is part of the European Union.

Scientists say it’s hard to pinpoint the reason for the remarkably rapid increase in methane. Greenhouse gas comes from several different sources: it is released during the extraction of oil and natural gas, but it is also emitted from swamps.

oil on fire

Scientists believe that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming. Since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide has increased by almost half. The amount of methane increased by more than 150 percent during the same period. This is particularly worrisome because methane molecules retain more heat than carbon dioxide molecules. However, this difference diminishes over time. KNMI compares the effect with oil on fire: a short, strong heating that quickly disappears.

Metha Charter

At the most recent climate summit in Glasgow, more than 100 countries signed a methane agreement. In the treaty, an initiative of the European Union and the United States, it was agreed that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020.

In the annual report, researchers from C3S further stated that 2021 will certainly be one of the seven warmest years ever measured. Only four other years were warmer, including 2016 and 2020. For Europe, 2021 was the hottest summer ever.

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