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Reductions in anthropogenic methane emissions outweigh the most likely scenarios for Arctic methane release

Climate change causes an amplified warming of the Arctic, which may lead to the release of methane from previously frozen soils. Since it’s a strong greenhouse gas, arctic methane release can act as a positive feedback on climate change. However, anthropogenic efforts to reduce methane emissions may be more important for the direction of future climate warming.

NASA/JPL/Eric Kort, Alan Buis; NSF, NCAR, NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
NASA/JPL/Eric Kort, Alan Buis; NSF, NCAR, NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Torben R. Christensen and Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, both researchers affiliated to the department of physical geography at Lund University, made an estimation of the impact of future potential increases in natural methane release from the Arctic, and the maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic methane emissions.

Their study, together with researchers from Norway, Canada and Austria concludes that mitigation of anthropogenic methane emissions may have a large potential to limit the future development of climate warming, even when natural emissions from the Arctic increase in an uncontrolled manner. However, this would require a committed, global effort towards best possible reductions of anthropogenic sources, states the research team.

Read their open access paper published in Scientific reports here, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund
Sweden

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