Increase in rice farming in sub-Saharan Africa found to be producing rising amounts of methane

Posted by Staff of goGardenNow on

Phys.org reports, "A team of engineers and atmospheric scientists at Harvard University, working with a colleague from the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has calculated the increased amount of methane being expelled into the atmosphere due to increases in rice farming in parts of Africa.

"In their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the group describes how they recalculated methane emissions due to recent increases in rice production in sub-Saharan Africa, and what they found by doing so.

"Prior research has shown that methane is the second most important greenhouse gas (behind carbon dioxide)—it has been found to have more radiative properties (it holds in heat better) than CO2, which means that even though far less of it is emitted into the atmosphere, it still plays a major role in global warming.

"Prior research has shown that agriculture activities (from crops and livestock combined) account for approximately 25% of all human-caused methane emissions into the atmosphere. Waste disposal and fossil fuel production account for most of the rest."

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