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SOURCE: Engineering & Technology

DATE: January 11, 2017

SNIP: According to a study led by researchers from the University of Reading, methane, the main component of natural gas, is actually 32 times more potent as a climate warming agent than carbon dioxide, instead of 28 times as previously believed.

That means that methane’s contribution to global warming is 25 per cent higher than previously estimated.

“Clouds play a particularly important role in causing this enhanced warming effect,” said Professor Ellie Highwood from the University of Reading, one of the co-authors of the study.

“Clouds reflect some of the sun’s rays back towards space, but by absorbing some of these scattered rays low down in the atmosphere, methane has an extra warming effect – a factor that was not considered by earlier studies.