Global warming presents a clear and real threat to my children, and their children’s, futures. Why do I believe it? Because I trust the science and I’ve witnessed the very real effects in the form of local forest fires that have escalated far beyond previous levels.
Global warming is not a new phenomenon but the attention on methane’s contribution to global warming has become more pronounced in recent years. While carbon dioxide emissions have historically been the main culprit in global warming, it is now believed that methane is as important to deal with.
Methane is believed to have contributed to approximately half of the 1°C global warming that we’ve experienced since the pre-industrial era. It is about 80 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and methane emissions have been rising in recent years. Natural gas production and fracking, meat production and other forms of agriculture are among the chief sources.
The signing of the international agreement to reduce methane was done in advance of next month’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow where additional countries are expected to also agree to the initiative. Methane is expected to be an important topic at the conference because it can have a real short-term impact.
If countries take up the challenge to cut methane now, scientists forecast that future global warming could be reduced by 0.2 Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) by the 2040s. The methane pledge organizers from the E.U. and US called the bid “the single most effective strategy to reduce near-term global warming and keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.”
While I am very excited to see countries taking up the mantle to fight methane, I also believe that it’s the boots on the ground, real-world changes that will win the day. At SensorUp we’re developing technology that helps companies better understand their actual current methane footprints as a baseline and make recommendations on equipment to repair or replace to meet their methane reduction requirements. By orchestrating and understanding where companies are today, we help them chart their net-zero pathway and make a better future for my children and yours.