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    The last seven years have been the warmest since records were maintained. The slugfest between farm and fossil-fuel guzzling industry goes on.

    EnvironmentClimate changeThe last seven years have been the warmest since...
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    The last seven years have been the warmest since records were maintained. The slugfest between farm and fossil-fuel guzzling industry goes on.

    With its report on the heightening of temperatures over the past seven years, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service report tends to put more emphasis on combating methane than carbon-di-oxide.

    2021 was the fifth warmest year in recorded history, globally, and the past seven years have been the hottest, despite the cooling effect of the natural La Nina, the ocean-atmospheric weather phenomenon. This was revealed by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

    The upwards shooting of the mercury has been ascribed to carbon and methane emissions.

    Annual average temperatures were up to 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than what was recorded in the pre-industrial era, measured between 1850 onwards, C3S said. Accurate temperature measurements go back to 1850.

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    Methane is the conundrum for business and scientists. Politicians have been reluctant to take action. Farming communities have had little, if any, say.

    C3S said that a number of causes accounted for the increase in the increase in methane and carbon-di-oxide in recent years. But the experts have engaged in pointing more fingers towards the heightening of methane concentration in the atmosphere and say that it is about two-and-a-half times more than it should be.

    Indeed, the C3S report tends to put more emphasis on combating methane than carbon-di-oxide.

    Methane, agriculture and livestock farming take the brunt

    Methane, has a shorter life that carbon-di-oxide, scientists say. But, they also say that it has a far more detrimental than carbon-di-oxide.

    Natural sources include wetlands. But there is a long list of human-induced sources – from natural gas and oil production to coal mining and landfills and agriculture and livestock farming.

    Indeed, the rural economy has often been the fall guy – the blame for methane emissions is often put on farmers, especially dairymen, in the North.

    In the meanwhile, the discourse on high levels of carbon emissions, mainly in the form of fossil fuel extractions, have resulted in extending the calendar term to meet targets.

    Scientists argue that reducing the amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere will have a faster impact on steadying rising temperatures. They say this is an easier way to arrive at the Paris Agreement target of a 1.5 Celsius cap on warming.

    The petrochemicals industry, especially the core oil and gas industry, can make the single largest and fastest reductions by controlling leaks. But few global leaders seem to be willing to speak about this. Former American president Donald Trump in fact walked away from climate negotiations, often defending the oil and gas industry.

     

    Representative image: Bandipur fires 2019 – Wikimedia Commons

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