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Title: Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, July 2001.

Abstract

Global Warming and Methane--Global warming, an increase in Earth's near-surface temperature, is believed to result from the buildup of what scientists refer to as ''greenhouse gases.'' These gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluoro-carbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Greenhouse gases can absorb outgoing infrared (heat) radiation and re-emit it back to Earth, warming the surface. Thus, these gases act like the glass of a greenhouse enclosure, trapping infrared radiation inside and warming the space. One of the more important greenhouse gases is the naturally occurring hydrocarbon methane. Methane, a primary component of natural gas, is the second most important contributor to the greenhouse effect (after carbon dioxide). Natural sources of methane include wetlands, fossil sources, termites, oceans, fresh-waters, and non-wetland soils. Methane is also produced by human-related (or anthropogenic) activities such as fossil fuel production, coal mining, rice cultivation, biomass burning, water treatment facilities, waste management operations and landfills, and domesticated livestock operations (Figure 1). These anthropogenic activities account for approximately 70% of the methane emissions to the atmosphere. Methane is removed naturally from the atmosphere in three ways. These methods, commonly referred to as sinks, are oxidation by chemical reaction with tropospheric hydroxyl ion, oxidationmore » within the stratosphere, and microbial uptake by soils. In spite of their important role in removing excess methane from the atmosphere, the sinks cannot keep up with global methane production. Methane concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by 145% since 1800. Increases in atmospheric methane roughly parallel world population growth, pointing to anthropogenic sources as the cause (Figure 2). Increases in the methane concentration reduce Earth's natural cooling efficiency by trapping more of the outgoing terrestrial infrared radiation, increasing the near-surface temperature.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab., IL (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
797942
Report Number(s):
ANL/ER/NL-01-07
TRN: US200218%%158
DOE Contract Number:  
W-31-109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 23 Jul 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 03 NATURAL GAS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ANIONS; CARBON DIOXIDE; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; COAL MINING; DOMESTIC ANIMALS; FOSSIL FUELS; GREENHOUSE GASES; HYDROXIDES; INFRARED RADIATION; NATURAL GAS; NITROUS OXIDE; RADIATIONS; SANITARY LANDFILLS; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WATER TREATMENT; WATER VAPOR

Citation Formats

Holdridge, D J. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, July 2001.. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/797942.
Holdridge, D J. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, July 2001.. United States. doi:10.2172/797942.
Holdridge, D J. Mon . "Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, July 2001.". United States. doi:10.2172/797942. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/797942.
@article{osti_797942,
title = {Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, July 2001.},
author = {Holdridge, D J},
abstractNote = {Global Warming and Methane--Global warming, an increase in Earth's near-surface temperature, is believed to result from the buildup of what scientists refer to as ''greenhouse gases.'' These gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluoro-carbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Greenhouse gases can absorb outgoing infrared (heat) radiation and re-emit it back to Earth, warming the surface. Thus, these gases act like the glass of a greenhouse enclosure, trapping infrared radiation inside and warming the space. One of the more important greenhouse gases is the naturally occurring hydrocarbon methane. Methane, a primary component of natural gas, is the second most important contributor to the greenhouse effect (after carbon dioxide). Natural sources of methane include wetlands, fossil sources, termites, oceans, fresh-waters, and non-wetland soils. Methane is also produced by human-related (or anthropogenic) activities such as fossil fuel production, coal mining, rice cultivation, biomass burning, water treatment facilities, waste management operations and landfills, and domesticated livestock operations (Figure 1). These anthropogenic activities account for approximately 70% of the methane emissions to the atmosphere. Methane is removed naturally from the atmosphere in three ways. These methods, commonly referred to as sinks, are oxidation by chemical reaction with tropospheric hydroxyl ion, oxidation within the stratosphere, and microbial uptake by soils. In spite of their important role in removing excess methane from the atmosphere, the sinks cannot keep up with global methane production. Methane concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by 145% since 1800. Increases in atmospheric methane roughly parallel world population growth, pointing to anthropogenic sources as the cause (Figure 2). Increases in the methane concentration reduce Earth's natural cooling efficiency by trapping more of the outgoing terrestrial infrared radiation, increasing the near-surface temperature.},
doi = {10.2172/797942},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {7}
}

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