This year, NASA released a new visualization modeling the sources and transport of methane across our globe.
With this new visualization, we can see how methane sources vary by location and season.
In South America, the Amazon River basin and its adjacent wetlands flood seasonally. This creates an oxygen-deprived environment that is a significant source of methane.
In the last 200 years methane concentrations have more than doubled mainly due to human activities.
Europe is the only region to show a decrease in methane emissions over the last 20 years.
In India and southeast Asia, rice cultivation and livestock are two of the driving sources of methane.
In China, economic expansion is driving high demand for fossil fuels, resulting in an increase in methane emissions.
This is a stark difference to Arctic where natural sources, such natural wetlands and potentially thawing permafrost, account for more than 70% of the region’s methane emissions.
Taking a step back, we can see that methane has vastly different sources around the globe.
By getting a better sense of the story of methane, scientists and policy makers can better understand the sources of methane emissions, and work to reduce this greenhouse gas.