METHANE EMISSIONS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     13th October 2023        
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Context: According to a new report, recently, dedicated actions to reduce methane emissions are crucial to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

  • Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is estimated to have been responsible for 30 percent of the global warming since the Industrial Revolution, according to the report.
  • Methane is the primary reason for ground-level ozone pollution

Methane Emissions

  • Methane ranks as the second most prevalent human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) following CO2, contributing to approximately 20% of worldwide emissions.
  • Nearly half of all human-induced methane emissions can be attributed to China, the United States, Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico.
  • Due to methane's potent greenhouse gas properties and relatively short atmospheric lifespan compared to carbon dioxide, substantial reductions could swiftly and significantly impact its potential for atmospheric warming.


  • Composition: Methane, with the chemical formula CH4, is the most basic hydrocarbon, comprising a single carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
  • Utility: It serves as a globally employed fuel due to its flammable nature.
  • Greenhouse Gas: Methane qualifies as a potent greenhouse gas.
  • Warming Potential: Over its initial 20 years in the atmosphere, methane possesses over 80 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.

Emission by India

  • India ranks as the fourth-largest global methane emitter, following China, the United States, and Russia.
  • The Global Methane Tracker 2022 reveals that agriculture contributes to 61% of total methane emissions in India, while the energy sector accounts for 16.4%, and waste for 19.8%.