Methane is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs abundantly in nature and as a product of certain human activities.

Chemical formula is CH4.

It is the simplest member of the paraffin series of hydrocarbons.

It is among the most potent of the greenhouse gases.

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas.

CH4 is more potent than CO2, and is lighter than air, slightly soluble in water.

It has a specific gravity of 0.554.

CH4 burns readily in air, forming carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Mixtures of methane and air, with the methane content between 5 and 14 percent by volume, are explosive.

Marsh or swamp gas is methane produced by the anaerobic bacterial decomposition of vegetable matter under water.

As much as 4% of all gas produced by fracking is lost a leakage, and these releases contribute to shop increases in atmospheric methane.

Methane is a potent contributor to global warming, with the heat trapping potential 30 times greater than that of carbon dioxide over a 100 year span and 85 times greater over a 20 year span.

Wetlands are the major natural source of methane.

Other important natural sources of methane include: termite digestive processes, volcanoes, vents in the ocean floor, and methane hydrate deposits that occur along continental margins and beneath Antarctic ice and Arctic permafrost.

It is the major constituent of natural gas, which contains from 50 to 90 percent methane.

Methane occurs as a component of flammable gas along coal seams.

The production and combustion of natural gas and coal are the major human-associated sources of methane.

The extraction and processing of natural gas and the distillation of bituminous coal in the manufacture of coal gas and coke-oven gas result in the release of significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere.

Methane production includes biomass burning, livestock farming, and waste management.

In waste management bacteria produce methane as they decompose sludge in waste-treatment facilities and decaying matter in landfills.

it is a source of hydrogen and some organic chemicals.

When it reacts with steam at high temperatures it yields carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

At high temperatures it used in the manufacture of ammonia for fertilizers and explosives.

Additional chemicals derived from methane include methanol, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and nitromethane., and its incomplete combustion yields carbon black an agent use for automobile tires.

Methane that is produced and released into the atmosphere is taken up by methane sinks.

Methane sinks include the soil and the process of methane oxidation in the the lowest atmospheric region, the trophosphere.

Most methane produced naturally is offset by its uptake into natural sinks.

Increased concentrations of methane in the atmosphere contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The greenhouse gases,particularly carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor absorb infrared radiation and reradiate it back to Earth’s surface, potentially trapping heat and producing substantial changes in climate.

Increased atmospheric methane also adds to the greenhouse effect indirectly.

The flatulence of cows is only a small portion of cows’ methane release, they also burp methane, due to the physiology of their digestive systems.

Livestock accounts for around 20% of global methane emissions.

90–95% of that is released by exhaling or burping by cows.

In cows, gas and burps are produced by methane-generating microbes called methanogens, that live inside the cow’s digestive system.

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