From: Kazan Federal University
Published May 1, 2017 02:55 PM

Researchers to make corrections in climate change models

Global warming is a concept very well-known to people today, even those who are not particularly invested in such matters. However, this knowledge becomes obsolete very quickly. Take the greenhouse effect. We all have heard about the ??2 emissions and their detrimental effect on our planet. According to the US EPA data, 76% of all greenhouse gas emissions are carbon dioxide, and 16% - methane (??4). However, despite this great differential, methane is actually much more dangerous. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives a good insight into that. As per their research, the greenhouse activity of methane is 28 times higher than that of carbon dioxide in the timeframe of 100 years and 80 times higher if the next 20 years are taken into account. Moreover, methane concentration in the atmosphere grows exponentially. And the explanation for that may be derived from our distant past.

Vice-Rector Danis Nurgaliev explains, «The turnover of carbon on our planet is a very interesting problem. This element has much to do with most of the processes on Earth, and that includes global warming. But it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to follow its turnover retrospectively. We are talking about not mere dozens or even hundreds of thousands of years. These timeframes have already been tackled by us – for instance, by studying gas bubbles in Antarctic ice. Hypothetically, we can also find bubbles in amber. But there has not yet been reliable data in this matter. And talking about more prolonged eons, there are much more blind spots and unexplained events there».

Filling these gaps is one of the tasks posed within a project called “Petroleum bearing beds, shales and hydrocarbon deposits as underestimated sources of greenhouse methane emissions”. This and its sister project (in ecobiotechnologies) have been named breakthrough projects for SAU EcoOil. The expected breakthrough is in reevaluating methane as a driver of climate change. Scientists have to determine methane concentration during earlier geological eons. The task is actually much more complicated than just finding the ratios of oxygen, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide. It becomes even more challenging because methane doesn’t stay long in the atmosphere. On average, it oxidizes in 8 – 12 years and breaks up into water and carbon dioxide. However, SAU EcoOil is eager to find the solution.

Continue reading at: Kazan Federal University

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