Reconciling the global methane budget

There is still a gap between what we know about methane emissions and methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all the methane emissions estimated with data inventories and models, we get a number bigger than the one consistent with the growth in methane concentrations. Isotope signatures suggest that the majority of the recent increase might be of biogenic origin. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions. The project will look at methane sources and sinks, at agricultural and wetland emissions, as well as fugitive emissions from fossil fuel infrastructure to refine our understanding of the methane budget.

Richard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (www.piccc.org.au), a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and Agriculture Victoria. He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO and European Union, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture. His research focuses on profitable and sustainable livestock production systems, nitrogen cycling and loss in agricultural grazing systems, with a recent focus on carbon farming and options for livestock production systems to respond to a changing climate. Richard is also a network leader of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses and member of the Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture international science advisory committee.