Skip Navigation
Back to PolicyBot

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