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Carbon = chemically C
Hydrogen = chemically H
Carbon holds 4 atoms of H
= CH4 = methane
Methane is the simplest alkane, and component of natural gas. Burning methane with oxygen produces carbon dioxide + water. Earth always had a lot of methane. Naturally it exists as a gas form.|
The famous Italian Alessandro Volta has published his findings about methane in 1778.
Most of us know Volta, because the Volt = V was named after him.
Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas and is partly responsible for Earth's changing climate.
In the 17th century about 700 ppb = parts per billion of methane was measured in Earth's Atmosphere.
At the end of the last century, about 1700 ppb were counted.
2012 up to 1950 ppb methane are in Earth's atmosphere.
Scientists say that this level is
the highest in 300000 years.
Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2. Read more about CO2 carbon dioxide
The greatest danger is a very large amount of methane bound in methane clathrates in Earth's ocean floors.
||This methane "ice" is melting because of higher ocean temperatures.|
The higher the temperature in our oceans is rising, the faster
the methane is bubbling up!
Earth's crust holds a lot of methane. Humans produce methane as a person and humans are responsible for the creation of methane in our landfills.
The growing amount of livestock, needed as human food, are producing methane by enteric fermentation. All livestock on Earth produce annually about 80 million metric tons of methane. That is about 30% of global methane emissions from human-related activities. An adult cow emits about 200 lbs of methane.
The US raises about 100 million cattle - 1.2 billion large livestock on Earth - most of them to feed humans. The U.S. is one of the largest methane producers, cattle emit about 20% of all U.S. methane emissions.
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons had a very good idea to reduce methane gas emissions.
He wants to eliminate landfills in the state and instead recycle as much waste as possible and use the rest to generate energy. Gov. Gibbons:"There have been huge leaps in recycling technology - we can conserve natural resources, create clean energy and create jobs by looking at landfills not as places where we bury our trash, but as places where recycling and energy recovery begin."
Look at this chart. Can you see the trend?
That's why we need better Nature Conservation!
This graphic shows: Global Methane Emissions from Human Activities
Methane = CH4 is a gas formed as part of the process of coal formation – coalification. When coal is mined methane is released from the coal seam and the surrounding disturbed rock strata. Methane can also be released as a result of natural erosion or faulting.
Methane is highly combustible. It is a potent greenhouse gas = GHG – 23 times more harmful than carbon dioxide CO2. Tackling methane emissions is therefore an important step in meeting the challenge of climate change. Methane can also act as a valuable source of energy- it is the principal constituent of natural gas.
Map of Arctic showing methane ice thawing because of warmer ocean temperatures.
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