Methane is an important greenhouse gas that has contributed ∼25% of the radiative forcing experienced to date. Despite methane’s short atmospheric lifetime (~10 years), the global methane mole fraction has increased three times faster than carbon dioxide since 1750. Methane emission mitigation is an effective way to reduce the short-term rate of warming, and is essential to IPCC pathways that limit warming below 2 C. In contrast to carbon dioxide, anthropogenic methane emissions originate from a large variety and number of diffuse point sources that are mostly independent of combustion processes. As a result, systematic, international atmospheric measurements are needed to inform emission inventories and mitigation strategies.
This session will highlight field research and satellite studies that focus on methane emissions from human activities (e.g., oil and gas production, coal mining, fire, rice production, ruminants, landfills and waste). Particular emphasis is on atmospheric observations at different spatio-temporal scales with the aim to (1) reduce the uncertainty in the measured magnitude of emissions, (2) identify source-specific emission patterns and mitigation opportunities, and (3) inform government, industry, and other stakeholders on mitigation pathways.
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