Methane and Climate Change: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Methane and Climate Change

1st Edition

Edited by Dave Reay, Pete Smith


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Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is estimated to be responsible for approximately one-fifth of man-made global warming. Per kilogram, it is twenty-five times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 100-year time horizon – and global warming is likely to enhance methane release from a number of sources. Current natural and man-made sources include many where methane-producing micro-organisms can thrive in anaerobic conditions, particularly ruminant livestock, rice cultivation, landfill, wastewater, wetlands and marine sediments.

This timely and authoritative book provides the only comprehensive and balanced overview of our current knowledge of sources of methane and how these might be controlled to limit future climate change. It describes how methane is derived from the anaerobic metabolism of micro-organisms, whether in wetlands or rice fields, manure, landfill or wastewater, or the digestive systems of cattle and other ruminant animals. It highlights how sources of methane might themselves be affected by climate change. It is shown how numerous point sources of methane have the potential to be more easily addressed than sources of carbon dioxide and therefore contribute significantly to climate change mitigation in the 21st century.


'This book takes a unique and powerful approach to the global methane problem. The organization by the key sources (termites, rice, ruminants etc.) illustrates the global nature of the challenge and directly points the way to novel solutions.' Peter M. Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, USA

Table of Contents

1. Methane Sources and the Global Methane Budget 2. The Microbiology of Methanogenesis 3. Wetlands 4. Geological Methane 5. Termites 6. Vegetation 7. Biomass Burning 8. Rice Cultivation 9. Ruminants 10. Wastewater and Manure 11. Landfill 12. Fossil Energy and Ventilation Air Methane 13. Options for Methane Control 14. Summary Index

About the Editors

Dave Reay is a senior lecturer in Carbon Management in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of several climate change books and runs the Greenhouse Gas Online web site, which has won several awards. Pete Smith is the Royal Society-Wolfson Professor of Soils & Global Change, in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, UK. Andre van Amstel is Assistant Professor in the Dept. Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology