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Go to the "Carbon Dioxide" puzzle piece for more information about Human Influences on this gas.

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Global Climate Change: Human Influences-- Atmospheric Methane
Freshwater wetlands are a common source of the atmospheric greenhouse gas methane (CH4). The methane produced in wetlands is the result of the metabolic process of certain mico-organisms called "methanogens." This process occurs in nearly all freshwater wetlands--including those that are constructed by humans.

Image of a rice paddy.One very important constructed freshwater wetland is the rice paddy. A rice paddy is a plot of land that is flooded in order to grow rice. As the human population grows, so does the area of land covered by rice paddies to produce the important food crop. This leads to an increase in the amount of CH4 released to the atmosphere. Photo 2000-www.arttoday.com
Image of two cattle.Methane is also produced in the stomachs of cattle, another major food source. Cattle and other grazing animals release large amounts of methane in their intestinal gas (flatulence). In fact, the flatulence of animals is a significant source of methane. However, research has shown that larger herds of cattle and other grazing animals is not related to increased concentrations of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Photo 2000-www.arttoday.com

 

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