METHANE, a key greenhouse gas that has been growing alarmingly in the atmosphere, suddenly stopped in its track beginning 1992. Although previous studies had shown that the rate of methane increase slowed down in the '80s, a new analysis carried out by Edward Dlugokencky of the US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that since mid-'92, the rate of increase has plunged in the southern hemisphere and crashed to near zero in the northern hemisphere (Science, Vol 263, No 5148). Some link the decrease to leaks plugged in natural gas pipelines in Russia, but others fear that nature is up to some mischief that scientists are yet to recognise.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.