Why a powerful planet-warming gas is surging in Earth's atmosphere

Climate 101 is a Mashable series that answers provoking and salient questions about Earth’s warming climate.  
The potent greenhouse gas methane continues to increase in Earth's atmosphere, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) graph below paints a clear picture. Following a temporary flattening or stabilization of methane levels in the aughts, the odorless, invisible gas has continually risen since around 2008, and more recently has accelerated . 
Methane is a problematic greenhouse gas because it traps heat on the planet 28 times better than carbon dioxide . (Methane lives in the atmosphere for about a decade before breaking down into the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide .) Over the last two centuries, as fossil fuel use and cattle ranching expanded around the globe (both make methane emissions), atmospheric methane levels have over doubled , causing a whopping quarter of the human-caused warming on Earth. It's why methane is considered the "second most important greenhouse gas" (behind CO2).  Read more... More about Global Warming , Climate 101 , Science , and Climate Environment

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