Increased methane emissions linked to fossil fuel usage: Study

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A new study published by the University of Rochester in Nature magazine has found that human activity has been contributing significantly to the rise of methane emissions via the use of fossil fuels.

For this study, scientists collected ice cores from Greenland and melted them to measure the amount of carbon-14 isotopes that were trapped in the ice cores.

Fossil methane does not contain carbon-14 as it has been trapped underground for millions of years and the isotope has decayed. Biological methane, which comes from living sources such as animals, contains carbon-14.

This chemical signature allowed researchers to distinguish natural emissions from man-made emissions over a period of 200 years, from before the Industrial Revolution started in the early 18th century to the present day.

Researchers found that almost all methane that was emitted to earth's atmosphere until 1870 was biological in nature.

After 1870, researchers found a roughly 25 to 40 percent increase of human-produced methane emissions. This coincides with a sharp increase in the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas around the same period of time.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Rise of methane emissions due to human activity
2. How researchers conducted their study
3. Increased usage of fossil fuels coincided with rising emissions
4. Why we should reduce fossil fuel usage

VOICEOVER (in English):

"A new study by the University of Rochester has found that human activity has been contributing significantly to the rise of methane emissions via the use of fossil fuels."

"For this study, scientists collected ice cores from Greenland and melted them to measure the amount of carbon-14 isotopes that were trapped in the ice cores."

"Fossil methane does not contain carbon-14 as it has been trapped underground for millions of years and the isotope has decayed. Biological methane, which comes from living sources such as animals, contains carbon-14."

"This chemical signature allowed researchers to distinguish natural emissions from man-made emissions over a period of 200 years, from before the Industrial Revolution started in the early 18th century to the present day."

"Researchers found that almost all methane that was emitted to earth's atmosphere until 1870 was biological in nature."

"After 1870, researchers found a roughly 25 to 40 percent increase of human-produced methane emissions."

"This coincides with a sharp increase in the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas around the same period of time."

"Scientists linked the study to today's climate crisis and said that a reduction in fossil fuel use could lessen the threat of global warming."

SOURCES: Technology Review, Nature Magazine, Science Daily via University of Rochester, Science Daily via Princeton University, The Verge
https://www.technologyreview.com/f/615263/humans-are-producing-a-far-larger-share-of-methane-emissions-than-we-thought/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-1991-8.epdf
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200219113746.htm
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111724.htm
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/19/21143597/methane-greenhouse-gas-oil-underestimate-leaks