Greenhouse Gases from human activities are the most significant driver of observed climate change since the mid-20th century.

A little history:

For most of the past 800,000 years—longer than human civilization has existed—the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere was between about 200 and 280 parts per million. (In other words, there were 200 to 280 molecules of the gases per million molecules of air.) But in the past century, that concentration has jumped to more than 400 parts per million, driven up by human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. 

Identified by scientists as far back as 1896, the natural warming of the earth (that results when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun --that would otherwise escape into space) creates what is called the greenhouse effect. To quote from the NRDC, this is a good thing until it isn’t. It warms the planet to its comfortable average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) and keeps life on earth, well, livable. Without it the world would be a frozen, uninhabitable place, more like Mars. The problem is, mankind’s voracious burning of fossil fuels for energy is artificially amping up the natural greenhouse effect.

How Does the Greenhouse Effect Work?

Sunlight makes the earth habitable. While 30% of the solar energy that reaches our world is reflected back to space, approximately 70%  is absorbed by the land and the oceans, with the rest being absorbed by the atmosphere, heating our planet. This heat is then radiated back up in the form of invisible infrared light. While some of this infrared light continues on into space, the vast majority—indeed, some90% —gets absorbed by atmospheric gases, known as greenhouse gases, and redirected back toward the earth, causing further warming. This is what is often called “the greenhouse effect”.

The result? An increase in global warming that is altering the planet’s climate systems in countless ways. 

Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). About 76% of global human-caused emissions sticks around for quite a while. Once emitted,  40% still remains after 100 years, 20% after 1,000 years, and 10% as long as 10,000 years later.

Methane (CH4) is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil as well as resulting from livestock , other agricultural practices, land use & decay of organic waste in municipal landfills).While super-polluting greenhouse gas emissions like methane don’t last  in the atmosphere as long as CO2 (living decades rather than centuries), they do plenty of damage while they’re hanging around, accelerating the pace of global warming. A United Nations study issued in May, 2021 suggested that focusing on methane reductions from fossil fuels activities, landfills and agricultural production could help avoid almost 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming by the early 2040s.

Nitrous oxide (N20) is emitted during agricultural, land use, industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes.

Water Vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas increasing as the Earth’s atmosphere warms, but so does the possibility of clouds and precipitation.

Each of these gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years. They all remain long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions.

Some gases are more effective than others at making the planet warmer and “thickening the Earth’s blanket.” The EPA has that covered as well.




The Consequences:

As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities increase, they build up in the atmosphere and warm the climate, pushing the planet into unprecedented territory, ravaging ecosystems, raising sea levels and exposing millions of people to new weather extremes, not to mention accelerating disease and extinction to all forms of life. At the current rate of emissions, the world will burn through its remaining “carbon budget” by 2030 — putting the ambitious goal of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) irrevocably out of reach.

 What do the Scientists Say:

The latest IPCC report (4/4/2022) suggests that the world is running out of options to hit climate goals. Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels — or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.

What is the Federal Government Doing:

During the Trump administration, U.S. action around most super pollutants (with the exception of nitrogen oxide) came from states and cities, with the cooperation of some industry associations. That’s changing under the Biden administration, although even there, change has proven difficult, as demonstrated, for example, when the Build Back Better bill, the most sweeping climate bill in U.S. history collapsed after coal-state Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) pulled his support. 

  • In April of 2021, a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate reinstated an Obama-era regulation that requires oil and gas companies to monitor and repair methane leaks along pipelines, at storage facilities and in extraction operations (one of more than 100 environmental rules slashed by former President Trump).
  • In April of 2021, the Department of Energy (DoE)  committed $35 million for technologies to reduce methane, which it estimates contributes about 10 % of annual GHG emissions. The funding is focused on solutions for dealing with the exhaust from natural gas engines; rethinking the practice of flaring; and handling coal mine ventilation.
  • In May of 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also announced it is moving forward to phase down HFCs, mainly used for refrigerators and air conditioners. This measure, according to the EPA and the legislators supporting this action, would help to avoid 0.5 degrees of warming by 2100. The rule falls under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation adopted in late 2020 that provides “regulatory certainty” for decreasing the production and import of HFCs into the U.S. by 85 percent over the next 15 years.
  • More than 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge, which requires a 30% cut in methane emissions by 2030. In November of 2021, the Biden administration unveiled new rules to curb methane, from oil and gas operations.
  • On April 23, 2022, Biden, at the Leader’s Summit on Climate. pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030.
  • Biden got some good news in May of 2022, when the Supreme Court allowed the administration to use a higher estimate for the societal cost of rising greenhouse gases as federal agencies draft regulations, turning aside a request from Republican-led states to prevent agencies from estimating the “social cost of carbon.”

Effects of the Coronavirus:

Based on preliminary data for 2021, Rhodium Group estimated, in January 2022, that economy-wide GHG emissions increased 6.2% in 2021 relative to 2020, though emissions remained 5% below 2019 levels. Current estimates put year-on-year GDP growth at 5.7%. indicating that GHG emissions rebounded slightly faster than the overall economy in 2021, largely due to a jump in coal-fired power generation, which increased 17% from 2020, and a rapid rebound in road transportation (primarily freight). As a result, progress in reducing US GHG emissions was reversed in 2021, moving from 22.2% below 2005 levels in 2020 to only 17.4% in 2021, putting the US even further off track from achieving its 2025 and 2030 climate targets. More on CCRs CORONAVIRUS page.

New Technologies?

What climate-tech superheroes hope to play a role in combating these super-pollutant villains? Look to our NEW TECHNOLOGIES page where the majority of explorations focus on carbon capture not reduction.

Some of these investments will no doubt be controversial with climate activists, who are likely to argue (legitimately) that they perpetuate natural gas extraction processes. There is no doubt, however, that regulating methane gas is critical for advancing President Joe Biden’s goal to slash U.S. emissions in half from 2005 levels over the next decade and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.

Old Technologies

There is a great deal of discussion about importance of planting trees on land and kelp in the ocean to sequester carbon. More on that to be found on other pages: SEA TO SOILLAND & DEFORESTATION, and OCEAN AS CARBON SINK.



What is ‘committed warming’? A climate scientist explains why global warming can continue after emissions end

It refers to future increases in global temperatures that will be caused by greenhouse gases that have already been emitted. In other words, if the clean energy transition happened overnight, how much warming would still…

GHG Reduction Programs & Strategies

A wide range of strategies are available to help organizations reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Below are a list of resources and guides to help your organization identify and implement GHG reduction opportunities.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. The main greenhouse gases are:

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse…

Methane Emissions: A Primer

Methane is the world’s simplest hydrocarbon, with a chemical formula of CH4 (one atom of carbon and four

The noaa annual greenhouse gas index (aggi)

ncreases in the abundance of atmospheric greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are mainly the result of human activity and are largely responsible for the observed increases in global temperature [IPCC 2014]. Because climate projections…

Reducing methane is the fastest way to slow global warming

Raise the alarm for countries to reduce methane and carbon dioxide pollution. Join the methane movement. #cutmethane

How You Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Then put the recommendations into practice. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and…

Energy and the environment explained

Many of the chemical compounds in the earth's atmosphere act as greenhouse gases. When sunlight strikes the earth’s surface, some of it radiates back toward space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared…

Carbon Dioxide

Latest Measurement: April 2021  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and…

What are greenhouse gases?

Many chemical compounds present in Earth's atmosphere behave as 'greenhouse gases'. These are gases which allow direct sunlight (relative shortwave energy) to reach the Earth's surface unimpeded. As the shortwave energy (that in the visible…

Greenhouse Effect 101

By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we’re amplifying the planet’s natural greenhouse effect and turning up the dial on global warming.

Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Did you ever wonder what reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1 million metric tons means in everyday terms? The greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator can help you understand just that, translating abstract measurements into concrete…

Each Country’s Share of CO2 Emissions

The world’s countries emit vastly different amounts of heat-trapping  gases into the atmosphere. The chart above and table below both show data compiled by the International Energy Agency, which estimates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from…

Architecture’s Carbon Problem

Rising global temperatures are causing climate-related natural disasters, and one of the biggest culprits is in plain sight: Buildings. In total, buildings account for about 40% of annual fossil fuel carbon-dioxide emissions (CO2), leading to…

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

At the global scale, the key greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are: Carbon dioxide (CO2): Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. CO2 can also be emitted from direct human-induced impacts on…

The Global Carbon Project

The Global Carbon Project (GCP) integrates knowledge of greenhouse gases for human activities and the Earth system. Our projects include global budgets for three dominant greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide —…

Household Carbon Footprint Calculator

Many of our daily activities cause emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, we produce greenhouse gas emissions from burning gasoline when we drive, burning oil or gas for home heating, or using electricity generated from…

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks

EPA has prepared the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks since the early 1990s. This annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United…

Overview of Greenhouse Gases

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. This section provides information on emissions and removals of the main greenhouse gases to and from the atmosphere. For more information on the other…

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse…

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Executive Order 12866 requires that federal agencies assess the cost and the benefits of intended regulations as part of their regulatory impact analyses (RIAs). The 1993 executive order stated


As China mines more coal, levels of a more potent greenhouse gas soar

By Christian Shepherd  Photo: Qilai Shen , Bloomberg News   05/27/22  
When China ramped up its reliance on coal-fueled power plants over fears of an energy crunch, climate experts were already worried, but now a study shows that the renewed mining will boost levels of methane,…

Supreme Court allows Biden climate regulations while fight continues

By Robert Barnes and Anna Phillips  Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images   05/26/22  
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Biden administration, for now, to use a higher estimate for the societal cost of rising greenhouse gases when federal agencies draft regulations.

Supreme Court Allows Greenhouse Gas Cost Estimates

By Adam Liptak  Photo: Tamir Kalifa   05/26/22  
Louisiana and other Republican-led states challenged a federal working group’s efforts to develop standards for agencies to use in quantifying the harms caused by emissions. ...

Gas wells leak explosive levels of methane in Bakersfield

By Drew Costley  Photo: Jae C. Hong , AP   05/25/22  
State and regional inspectors found concentrations of methane in the air around some of the wells at levels considered potentially explosive and environmental activists in the region are worried that other chemicals may also be…

Could Google’s carbon emissions have effectively doubled overnight?

By Bill McKibben  Illustration: Alberto Miranda   05/20/22  
A new report suggests the money that Big Tech companies keep in the banking system can do more climate damage than the products they sell.

April sets record for highest CO2 levels in human history

By Andrew Freedman  Photo: Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images   05/04/22  
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest levels on record for any calendar month during April, averaging 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since observations began in 1958, according…

Low-producing U.S. oil wells account for half of methane emissions, report says

By Valerie Volcovici  Photo: Andrew Kelly   04/21/22  
Low-producing oil and gas wells that account for just 6% of total U.S. production account for half of the methane emitted from all U.S. well sites. The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first…

Study: Low-producing oil wells cause 50% of methane emissions

By Carlos Anchondo  Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images   04/21/22  
Low-producing oil and gas wells are to blame for roughly half of the methane emitted from all U.S. well sites, despite making up 6 percent of the country’s total production, according to new research published…

Methane emissions from US low production oil and natural gas well sites

By Mark Omara, Daniel Zavala-Araiza and Others   04/19/22  
Mitigation of methane (CH4) emissions, a powerful greenhouse gas with >80× the 20-year warming potential of carbon dioxide is widely recognized as strategically integral to the attainment of the climate-neutrality goals of Paris Agreement. In…

FERC pipeline policy compromise could kill climate-based veto authority

By Catherine Morehouse  Photo: Keith Srakocic , AP   04/12/22  
FERC commissioners' effort to strike a compromise on a new policy framework for pipeline certifications may put pressure on the Democratic majority to make concessions about whether a project's greenhouse gas emissions can derail its…

In the race to slow warming, the chorus for cutting methane grows louder

By Brady Dennis  Photo: Matthew Brown/AP   04/08/22  
According to the IPCC, methane emissions linked to energy supply, particularly “fugitive” emissions that escape from the production and transport of fossil fuels, accounted for as much as 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas…

This incredibly potent planet-warming gas just set another record

By Rachel Ramirez  Graphic: John Keefe, CNN   04/07/22  
A potent planet-warming gas set a record for the second year in a row, scientists reported Thursday, just as the UN's panel on climate change warned the world is running out of time to rein…

Methane Emissions Soared to a Record in 2021, Scientists Say

By Raymond Zhong  Photo: Joe Raedle , Getty Images   04/07/22  
Levels of methane in the atmosphere increased last year by the largest amount since measurements began four decades ago, government scientists said on Thursday, adding to concerns about the planet-warming gas, which spews from oil…

The Global Methane Pledge gets a support team

By Joseph Winters   04/07/22  
A global initiative to slash methane emissions launched this week, targeting a climate scourge that has accounted for roughly 30 percent of global warming since the preindustrial era. The Global Methane Hub, equipped with $340…

Increase in atmospheric methane set another record during 2021

For the second year in a row, NOAA scientists observed a record annual increase in atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful, heat-trapping greenhouse gas that’s the second biggest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon…

NOAA: Greenhouse gases spiked in 2021, with a record methane jump

By Andrew Freedman  Photo: Orjan F. Ellingvag , Getty Images   04/07/22  
For the second straight year, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are reporting a record increase in the level of methane in the atmosphere, along with a significant jump in carbon dioxide…

The new IPCC report was delayed as scientists debated carbon capture

By Ciara Nugent  Photo: Getty Images—Abstract Aerial Art   04/04/22  
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst of climate change would be relatively cheap and technologically feasible, but governments and financial bodies are failing to do so as they continue to prop up the…

A greener Arctic is not a climate change solution

By Donatella Zona  Photo: Lisa Hupp   03/30/22  
Some theories suggest that this “Arctic greening” will help counteract climate change. The idea is that since plants take up carbon dioxide as they grow, rising temperatures will mean Arctic vegetation will absorb more carbon…

A US oil-drilling hotspot is kicking out far more methane than we thought

By Casey Crownhart  Photo: Joe Raedle , Getty Images   03/28/22  
One of the largest and fastest-growing oil production sites in the US is emitting far more methane than previously measured. It’s well known that oil and natural-gas production is a significant source of the powerful…

Heat Pumps emit less than high efficiency gas appliances in nearly every household in America.

By Sam Calisch   03/24/22  
Heat pumps are the cleaner choice. Even under conservative DOE minimum efficiency standards and 100-year global warming potentials, 98% of U.S. households would cut their carbon emissions by installing a heat pump. If all single…

Methane Leaks in New Mexico Far Exceed Current Estimates, Study Suggests

By Maggie Astor  Photo: Joel Angel Juarez , The New York Times   03/24/22  
Startlingly large amounts of methane are leaking from wells and pipelines in New Mexico, according to a new analysis of aerial data, suggesting that the oil and gas industry may be contributing more to climate…

Astronomy’s contribution to climate change rivals the emissions from some countries

By Nell Greenfield Boyce   03/21/22  
Astronomers spend their careers looking up at the sky, away from Earth, but now some stargazers say their field has to grapple with the fact that observing the cosmos is contributing to their home planet's…

US Blocks Illegal Imports of Climate Damaging Refrigerants With New Rules

By Phil McKenna   03/17/22  
Just weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency began enforcing strict new limits on the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, the agency said it has…

Coal Mining Emits More Super-Polluting Methane Than Venting and Flaring From Gas and Oil Wells, a New Study Finds

By Phil McKenna  Photo: Matthew Horwood , Getty Images   03/15/22  
Methane emissions from coal mines worldwide exceed those from the global oil or gas sectors and are significantly higher than prior estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency and the International Energy Agency, a new Global…

Why EPA’s new heavy truck rule could yet be a gamechanger

By The Climate Reality Project   03/14/22  
EPA’s new proposed rule limiting toxic tailpipe emissions from heavy trucks could not only mean clean air for millions but also jumpstart electrification of the trucking and bus sectors on a massive scale. But only…

How the beef industry is trying to change the maths of climate change

By Zach Boren  Photo: Oxford Martin School   03/09/22  
Fresh off the heels of a major methane ‘win’ at the Glasgow climate summit, the American beef lobby is leading a global effort to change how the climate impact of the powerful greenhouse gas is…

Carbon dioxide emissions hit record high last year

By Andrew Freedman   03/09/22  
The world's energy-related CO2 emissions reached an all-time high in 2021, according to new data released by the International Energy Agency. The world's energy-related CO2 emissions reached an all-time high in 2021, according to new…

Global carbon dioxide emissions reach highest level in history

By Doyle Rice  Photo: Shutterstock   03/08/22  
Emissions of carbon dioxide rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion metric tons. COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 caused a massive plunge in fossil fuel use. Coal accounted for over 40% of the overall growth…

Supreme Court hears case on EPA GHGs regulation

By Lexi Smith   03/07/22  
Oral arguments held February 28 gave attorneys on both sides of West Virginia v. EPA, which concerns the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gasses, the chance to present their case before the Justices of the…

Biden Administration Sets Interim Greenhouse Pollution Cost Estimates

By Nexus Media   03/01/22  
The Biden administration announced it will use Obama-era calculations of the “social cost” of three greenhouse gas pollutants while an interagency working group calculates a more complete estimate, the White House announced Friday. Often described…

Actual greenhouse gas volumes exceed official reports

By The Howard Center For Investigative Journalism  Photo: Isaac Stone Simonelli , AP   02/24/22  
Wayne Christian wanted to brag, he said, rocking in his burgundy leather chair atop the dais of the powerful Railroad Commission of Texas. Colleagues and staff were doing “a darn good job,” and people who…

Howard Center investigation examines how regulators are unaware of how much greenhouse gases are released by oil and gas companies

Every year, U.S. oil and gas companies set fire to billions of cubic feet of natural gas and directly release an additional unknown amount of the methane-rich gas into the atmosphere. But regulators are in…

Soaring Gas Prices Could Have Been Mitigated If Energy Sector Plugged Huge Methane Leaks, IEA Says

By Robert Hart  Photo: AFP via Getty Images   02/23/22  
Methane leaks from the energy sector are much higher than what national governments claim, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday, adding the industry could slash emissions of the highly polluting greenhouse gas—widely recognized as a…

3 takeaways from GWMS on the future of environmental justice, greenhouse gas emissions and leachate at landfills

By Megan Quinn   02/23/22  
As landfill operators plan for a future with stricter regulations, more environmental justice considerations and uncertainties about PFAS and other contaminants, speakers at the Global Waste Management Symposium (GWMS) offered new guidance for adjusting to…

Biden administration promises to buy ‘clean’ industrial materials

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Luke Sharrett for The New York Times   02/15/22  
A new initiative aims to reduce emissions from steel, cement, aluminum and other materials used in the industrial sector, which generates about a third of the nation’s greenhouse gases.

Interim Social Cost Of GHGs Halted By Judge

By Nexus Media   02/14/22  
A federal judge barred the Biden administration from using its interim revised social costs of greenhouse gas pollution in crafting regulatory policy on Friday. The ruling by Trump-appointee James Cain in a federal court in…

Volts podcast: Rebecca Dell on decarbonizing heavy industry

By David Roberts   02/11/22  
For most of the carbon-intensive sectors of the economy — electricity, transportation, buildings — we have a pretty good sense of how to eliminate carbon emissions. None of those sectors will be easy to decarbonize.…

Methane Pollution Undercounted by EPA

The U.S. EPA dramatically underestimates the planet-heating impact of methane pollution, a study published Wednesday in Environmental Research Letters, finds. The agency’s current method for evaluating the heat-trapping impact of the main component of so-called…

Cracking down on methane is a quick way to combat climate change

By Brady Dennis  Photo: The Washington Post   02/03/22  
Latest study underscores how satellites are exposing emissions sources around the globe. ‘It’s a harbinger of what’s to come,’ one expert says.

Airlines flying near-empty ‘ghost flights’ to retain EU airport slots

By Arthur Neslen  Photo: Joan Valls/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock   01/26/22  
Analysis from Greenpeace finds deserted flights are generating millions of tons of harmful emissions

To Fully Mitigate Climate Change, We Need to Curb Methane Emissions

By Sean Casten  Photo: Steven St John Getty Images   01/21/22  
It’s been more than two months since the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act—a bill that would make desperately needed and decades-overdue strides toward the U.S. meeting its moral responsibility to combat…

Preliminary US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates for 2021

By Alfredo Rivera & Others   01/10/22  
After the global pandemic spurred a year of economic upheaval in 2020, many looked to 2021 as a year for recovery. Despite the political and financial measures to support recovery in the US, 2021 was…

Mexico’s wheat fields help feed the world. They’re also releasing a dangerous greenhouse gas.

By Joshua Partlow and Chris Mooney  Photo: Luis Antonio Rojas   12/22/21  
In the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains, the carcasses of starving cattle rotted in a bone-dry reservoir. Useless fishing nets hung on dusty fences. Rowboats were stranded in the sand.

Citi Finds Surprising Path to Consider Polluting Metals as Green

By James Attwood and Yvonne Yue Li   11/18/21  
Metals -- even the dirtiest old-world varieties like steel -- can already be considered green if their contribution to climate change mitigation is taken into account, according to a Citigroup Inc. report.

Biden to submit treaty fighting climate super-pollutants for Senate approval

By Dino Grandoni  Photo: Evan Vucci/AP   11/16/21  
Move on hydrofluorocarbons, which are hundreds of times as potent as carbon dioxide, comes just days after global climate talks wrapped up in Glasgow

Societal shifts due to COVID-19 reveal large-scale complexities and feedbacks between atmospheric chemistry and climate change

By Joshua L. Laughner and others   11/12/21  
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns caused significant changes to human activity that temporarily altered our imprint on the atmosphere, providing a brief glimpse of potential future changes in atmospheric composition. This event demonstrated key…

Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

By Zeke Hausfather  Photo: Brazil Photos / Alamy Stock Photo   11/04/21  
The Global Carbon Project (GCP) projects that fossil emissions in 2021 will reach 36.4bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2), only 0.8% below their pre-pandemic high of 36.7GtCO2 in 2019. The researchers say they “were expecting some sort of…

It is the methane moment.’ How a once ignored greenhouse gas moved to center stage

By Warren Cornwall   11/03/21  
With the 26th annual international climate summit (COP26) underway in Glasgow, U.K., methane is basking in the spotlight. The potent heat-trapping molecule was once a footnote in discussions about climate change, largely because it breaks…

Biden unveils new rules to curb methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas operations

By Dino Grandoni and Steven Mufson  Photo: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/For The Washington Post   11/02/21  
The Biden administration also unveiled a sweeping set of domestic policies Tuesday to cut emissions of methane from oil and gas operations across the United States. The proposals, announced at the U.N. climate summit known…

Guest post: The Global Methane Pledge needs to go further to help limit warming to 1.5C

By Dr Chris Smith and Dr Joeri Rogelj  Photo: Jim West / Alamy Stock Photo   11/02/21  
Announced in September, the pledge asks countries to cut their methane emissions by 30% over 2020-30 and agree to stronger reporting standards. In his speech, Biden said “nine countries had signed on” in September, but “today, it’s…