Since 2007, scientists have been searching to find the cause of a sudden and unexpected global rise in atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, following almost a decade in which concentrations had stayed relatively constant. Recent studies have explored a range of possible causes. Suggestions have included a rise in oil and natural gas extraction, increased emissions from tropical wetlands or increases in emissions from growing East Asian economies.
However, a new paper by an international team of scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) investigates an alternative possibility: a rise and fall in the concentration of the substance that destroys methane in the atmosphere, the hydroxyl radical.
Read more at University of Bristol