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Methane and Climate

November 22, 2019

Atmospheric methane has increased modestly in recent years and contributes to radiative forcing but is nothing to worry about.

From the paper:

Atmospheric methane (CH4) contributes to the radiative forcing of Earth’s atmosphere. The rate of increase of carbon dioxide molecules, about 2.3 ppm/year (ppm = part per million by mole), is about 300 times larger than the rate of increase of CH4 molecules, which has been around 0.0076 ppm/year since the year 2008. So the contribution of methane to the annual increase in forcing is one tenth (30/300) that of carbon dioxide. The net forcing increase from CH4 and CO2 increases is about 0.05 W m−2 year−1 . Other things being equal, this will cause a temperature increase of about 0.012 C year−1 . Proposals to place harsh restrictions on methane emissions because of warming fears are not justified by facts.

Author
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University