Methane and the world’s temperature – level 3
Although carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global warming, methane has many times of carbon dioxide’s warming power. Scientists estimate that 25% of the increase in global temperature comes from methane.
Almost one third of the warming expected in the next few decades can be avoided by reducing emissions of the odorless and invisible gas without actually having to invent new technology or cut consumption. Oil and gas fields are the most obvious places to start, with frackers in the biggest oil fields in the US letting massive amounts of natural gas spill into the atmosphere.
Scientists and activists are trying to find leaks in the oil and gas supply chain. They go around the oil fields with powerful cameras that can see the methane leaking out of pipes and devices, and people finally realize the problem with methane leaks.
Difficult words: odorless (without a smell), fracker (the person gets oil or gas from a rock or the ground by making large cracks in it), valve (a device that controls the movement of fluid through a pipe).
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