New Findings on Methane Highlight Urgency of Climate Action

From Common Dreams:

New report “shows the urgency of controlling greenhouse gas emissions,” says scientist

– Common Dreams staff
Published on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 by Common Dreams

Emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane began well before the Industrial Age, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, raising questions over the benchmark used to calculate global warming and adding urgency to addressing climate change.

New report on methane highlights the urgent need to address climate change. (photo: AZRainman) The group of researchers studied Greenland’s ice over the past two millennia to measure  changes in methane in the atmosphere. Celia Sapart of Utrecht University, lead author of the study, said that people “were already emitting quite a lot in the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty.”

The study cites methane-releasing human activities from before the Industrial Age, including deforestation and the use of charcoal as fuel.

“The pre-industrial time was not a natural time for the climate — it was already influenced by human activity,” Sapart told Reuters. “When we do future climate predictions we have to think about what is natural and what did we add. We have to define what is really natural,” she said.

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