Why learn about methane?
Because it could be our chance to make a real dent in global warming, says environmentalist Fred Krupp.
Methane, which is created when four hydrogen atoms bond to one atom of carbon, is a molecule that’s lighter than air. It’s amazingly useful — it’s the primary component of natural gas, which generates roughly 22 percent of the world’s electricity (after coal). But methane also has a heavy — and damaging — impact on the planet.
“Methane pollution causes one quarter of the global warming that we’re experiencing right now,” says Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund in his TED talk (Let’s launch a satellite to track a deadly greenhouse gas).
Carbon dioxide may be the most prevalent greenhouse gas (accounting for 81 percent of emissions), but methane is much more potent. Over a 20-year period, it traps 84 times more heat.
So where does the methane in the atmosphere come from? And how can we control it?
Let’s get this out of the way: when some people hear the word “methane,” they immediately think about cow farts....................Read the full article at ..... Ideas.TED.Com