Methane and Climate Change

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Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is estimated to be responsible for approximately a fifth of manmade global warming. Per kilogram, its global warming potential is 25 times that of carbon dioxide - and global warming is likely to enhance methane release from a number of sources. Current natural and manmade 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 highlights how sources of methane might themselves be affected by climate change, and shows how numerous sources of methane have the potential to be more easily addressed than sources of carbon dioxide, and can therefore contribute significantly to climate change mitigation in the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844078233
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Reay is a lecturer in Carbon Management in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. He is author of Climate Change Begins at Home (Macmillan, 2005, shortlisted for Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year, 2006) and of How to Save the Planet (Macmillan.) He runs the Greenhouse Gas Online web site, which has won several awards.

Pete Smith is the Royal Sciety-Wolfson Professor of Soils & Global Change, in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. His main areas of expertise are in modelling greenhouse gas / carbon mitigation, bio-energy for fossil fuel offsets, and biological carbon sequestration.

Andre van Amstel is Assistant professor in the Dept. Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He previously taught physical geography in Amsterdam. He worked at the Institute of Public Health and the Environment from 1991 to 1996 where he was responsible for the national greenhouse gas emissions inventories for the National Communication on Climate Policies from the Netherlands to the Climate Convention. In 2006 he was one of the coordinating lead authors for the volume on agriculture, forestry and land use of the IPCC Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories.

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Table of Contents

1 Methane Sources and the Global Methane Budget Dave Reay Pete Smith André van Amstel 1

2 The Microbiology of Methanogenesis Alfons J. M. Stams Caroline M. Plugge 14

3 Wetlands Torben R. Christensen 27

4 Geological Methane Giuseppe Etiope 42

5 Termites David E. Bignell 62

6 Vegetation Andy McLeod Frank Keppler 74

7 Biomass Burning Joel S. Levine 97

8 Rice Cultivation Franz Conen Keith A. Smith Kazuyuki Yagi 115

9 Ruminants Francis M. Kelliher Harry Clark 136

10 Wastewater and Manure Miriam H. A. van Eekert Hendrik Jan van Dooren Marjo Lexmond Grietje Zeeman 151

11 Landfills Jean E. Bogner Kurt Spokas 175

12 Fossil Energy and Ventilation Air Methane Richard Mattus Åke Källstrand 201

13 Options for Methane Control André van Amstel 211

14 Summary André van Amstel Dave Reay Pete Smith 242

Contributors 247

Acronyms and abbreviations 250

Index 253

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