Climate science has got to be one of the most fascinating and exciting fields to be in today. MIT’s Technology Review has a story by James Temple about how methane traps 84 times more heat during the first two decades than carbon dioxide. Temple cites a new study just released by Nature Sustainability that suggests developing a new system that could capture a few billion tons of methane from the atmosphere to reduce short term global warming. The main idea discussed in this paper seems radical at first blush, but has a firm rationale behind it: instead of capturing carbon dioxide of which there is lots, instead let’s capture methane, of which there is relatively little, because we’d get a lot bigger bang for our bucks. Capturing methane could delay the impacts of CO2 on our climate, and there might even be long-term benefits as well.
Global climate models have been used by climate scientists since the 1970s. They have been refined over the years as more data have accumulated and computers have become faster and more powerful. Yet, even the relatively simple models from the 1970s have proved to be quite accurate at