Global Methane Emissions Reach ‘Record High’ Levels

Global Methane Budget, 2000-2017 (2020), July 15, 2020.

A new consensus update to global methane emissions reveals that atmospheric methane increased by 8.5ppb and 10.7ppb in 2018 and 2019, respectively – two of the highest annual values of the 21st century. The current concentration of atmospheric methane is more than 2.5 times higher than pre-industrial levels, which places us between the RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 pathways, and corresponds to a GMT increase above 3°C by 2100. Agriculture and fossil fuel extraction accounted for over 50% of the increase; thus far, emissions from permafrost do not appear as a major signal.  Our ability to meet the 1.5-2°C target of the Paris Agreement as regards methane depends largely on efforts in the agriculture, fossil fuel and waste sectors of the global economy, according to the report.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke