Implications of Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 Methane Emissions to Stabilize Radiative Forcing

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Increases in the abundance of methane (CH4) in the Earth’s atmosphere are responsible for significant radiative forcing of climate change (Forster et al., 2007; Wuebbles and Hayhoe, 2002). Since 1750, a 2.5 fold increase in atmospheric CH4 contributed 0.5 W/m2 to direct radiative forcing and an additional 0.2 W/m2 indirectly through changes in atmospheric chemistry. Next to water and carbon dioxide (CO2), methane is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the troposphere. Additionally, CH4 is significantly more effective as a greenhouse gas on a per molecule basis than is CO2, and increasing atmospheric CH4 has been second only to CO2 ... continued below

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Emanuel, William R. & Janetos, Anthony C. February 1, 2013.

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Increases in the abundance of methane (CH4) in the Earth’s atmosphere are responsible for significant radiative forcing of climate change (Forster et al., 2007; Wuebbles and Hayhoe, 2002). Since 1750, a 2.5 fold increase in atmospheric CH4 contributed 0.5 W/m2 to direct radiative forcing and an additional 0.2 W/m2 indirectly through changes in atmospheric chemistry. Next to water and carbon dioxide (CO2), methane is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the troposphere. Additionally, CH4 is significantly more effective as a greenhouse gas on a per molecule basis than is CO2, and increasing atmospheric CH4 has been second only to CO2 in radiative forcing (Forster et al., 2007). The chemical reactivity of CH4 is important to both tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry. Along with carbon monoxide, methane helps control the amount of the hydroxyl radical (OH) in the troposphere where oxidation of CH4 by OH leads to the formation of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and ozone.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-22203
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1063730 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1063730
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc827513

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  • February 1, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 8:45 p.m.

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Emanuel, William R. & Janetos, Anthony C. Implications of Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 Methane Emissions to Stabilize Radiative Forcing, report, February 1, 2013; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc827513/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.