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Published: Friday 19 July, 2013

cheap vans shoes cheap vans shoes CSIRO atmosphere research promising

Reporter: Tanya Nolan

HAMISH ROBERTSON: The CSIRO says that one of the major greenhouse gases, methane, has stopped increasing in the atmosphere for the first time since the preindustrial age.

In its latest study, conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO has found that concentrations of methane gas in the atmosphere have levelled out over the past four years.

Although methane rates only second to carbon dioxide in terms of its contribution to global warming, scientists say its the only greenhouse gas with the potential to be significantly reduced in the atmosphere and the CSIRO says that while it appears that the levelling out of methane emissions is likely to be a result of more efficient use of fossil fuels in the northern hemisphere, there are important lessons to be learnt for countries like Australia.

Tanya Nolan reports.

TANYA NOLAN: This is a good news story on greenhouse gas emissions. Australias peak scientific body, the CSIRO, says its monitoring at Cape Grim in Tasmania over the past four years has revealed cheap vans shoes that methane levels in the atmosphere have not increased and compared to a 15 per cent rise over t cheap vans shoes he preceding two decades, and a 150 per cent rise since preindustrial times, that result would appear very significant.

Doctor Paul Fraser is a chief research scientist at the CSIROs Atmospheric Research Division.

PAUL FRASER: Well, I think its pretty important because its something that really people havent, from a policy point of view, havent taken into account. They havent, in their scenarios for the future, envisaged a situation where methane wont stop growing in the atmosphere, and so we think those scenarios for greenhouse gas futures needs to take into account the fact that there is a possibility that methane will stop growing for a significant period of time.

TANYA NOLAN: Methane gas is eaten up by the atmosphere, so thats why Dr Fraser and his team predict that theres no reason why methane levels shouldnt start falling in the future, if emissions around the world are less than the rate at which the atmosphere can destroy them.

So why have methane gas emissions stopped growing? Well this is something the CSIRO is less certain about, even though Dr Fraser is willing to hand some of the credit to Russia.

PAUL FRASER: We know from the pattern of the levelling off in methane abundance that the major driver is coming from the Northern Hemisphere, and thats understandable because thats where the major emissions are. And research over the last 10 years has indicated that the most likely source of the decrease in emissions is from the reticulated natural gas in, possibly in the European region, possibly in the former Soviet Union, possibly in Russia.

TANYA NOLAN: So what are you saying here, that their more efficient use of fossil fuels is actual contributing?

PAUL FRASER: Well, it could be a combination of them using less methane gas, and what they are using theyre not losing as much through the reticulation system. So presumably they are leaking less of this gas to the atmosphere, and I think thats the message thats in this finding, is that it is possible just through simple maintenance of gas reticulation systems to have a significant effect on a greenhouse gas.

TANYA NOLAN: While methane gas is some 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, its only responsible for a fifth of the greenhouse effect of the past 200 years.

And Dr Fraser says even with the Kyoto Protocol ratified, gases other than methane, which contribute in a more major way to global warming, will be far more difficult to reduce.

PAUL FRASER: The only gas that we believe offers the immediate potential of the major greenhouse gases for levelling off is methane. Its going to be very difficult to get carbon dioxide levels to slow down, for their growth to slow down, let alone level off. Nitrous oxide shows no signs of levelling of.

TANYA NOLAN: But even those environmental watchdogs at Greenpeace are sounding more positive about climate change issues, and like many others are looking beyond ratification of the Kyoto Protocol as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and Climate Change Campaigner, Catherine Fitzpatrick, points out the good examples that are emerging.

CATHERI cheap vans shoes NE FITZPATRICK: The UK Government has started to reduce their emissions, Germanys on target to meet their Kyoto target, 30 States in the US now have renewable portfolio standards. China, Brazil, Thailand are all aggressively moving to different energy sources and time will tell if, without an international agreement, we will get the action we need to avoid dangerous climate change. cheap vans shoes