Powerful heat-trapping methane is rising at a record rate
Global atmospheric levels of methane, a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas, rose by a record amount last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday, worrying scientists because of the role importance of methane in climate change.
The preliminary level of airborne methane jumped 17 parts per billion, reaching 1895.7 parts per billion last year. This is the second year in a row that methane has increased at a record rate with a 15.3 ppb increase in 2020 compared to 2019, according to NOAA. Methane levels are now well over double pre-industrial levels of 720 parts per billion, said Lindsay Lan, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA and the University of Colorado.