Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Methane in South Sudan

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and - just like carbon dioxide - is increasing its concentration in the atmosphere. CH4 (methane) is now climbing rapidly and today stands at just over 1,860 parts per billion by volume.
Scientists think they can now explain at least part of the recent growth in methane (CH4) levels in the atmosphere. Researchers, led from Edinburgh University, UK, say their studies point to a big jump in emissions coming from just the wetlands of South Sudan. Satellite data indicates the region received a large surge of water from East African lakes, including Victoria. This would have boosted CH4 from the wetlands, accounting for a significant part of the rise in global methane. Perhaps even up to a third of the growth seen in the period 2010-2016, when considered with East Africa as a whole.

"It's a huge area so it's not surprising that it's pumping out a lot of methane. To give context - the Sudd is 40,000 sq km: two times the size of Wales. And being that big we expect to see the emissions from space," Dr Lunt told BBC News.

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