Sources and Sinks of Methane
Methane (CH4) concentrations in the atmosphere have increased from about 0.75 to 1.7 ppmv since preindustrial times (Steele et al., 1987; Khalil and Rasmussen, 1990). The current annual rate of increase of about 0.8% year−1 is attributed to increases in industrial and agricultural emissions since some key natural sources (e.g., wetlands and marshes) have been reduced due to development pressure, decreasing their area in various parts of the world (see, for example, Lelieveld et al., 1993). We have tried, in this chapter, to concisely summarize the discussions that took place at the NATO-ARW and to quantify the size of the global “Methane Sources and Sinks” that may contribute to the atmospheric increase. Several “specialty” groups emerged during the workshop, and it is their conclusions that are presented here. Each paragraph is also the focus of an individual chapter and usually of several papers that have appeared in Chemosphere Vol. 26(1–4). We have tried to cite these documents in the relevant sections, and we refer the reader to these sources for detailed explanations of each source and sink.
KeywordsBiomass Burning Methane Fermentation Dioxide
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