Image: Cows graze in a farm near Chascomus, Argentina, on Nov. 10. (Marcos Brindicci/Reuters)
washingtonpost.com - Chris Mooney - December 11th 2016
The best news about climate change that we’ve heard lately is that for three years straight, the world’s energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, have been flat. The gas has continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, but emissions haven’t gone up, even as economies have continued to grow.
But now we learn that there’s a major dose of bad news to accompany that: What’s true for carbon dioxide is not at all true for methane, the second most important greenhouse gas. Atmospheric concentrations of this gas — which causes much sharper short-term warming, but whose effects fade far more quickly than carbon dioxide — are spiking, a team of scientists reports in an analysis published Sunday in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: