As greenhouse gases go, carbon dioxide might get all the attention, but methane is the quiet powerhouse. While it isn't as prevalent as carbon dioxide, the EPA estimates that methane is 25 times more potent than its more famous fellow emission, able to trap more heat in the atmosphere.
Climate change is changing the environment. Studies have shown that higher levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are warming the planet. But it isn't easy to predict how those changes will affect life in the future. To fix that, some researchers are bringing the future to life, today, no time machines involved.
On top of droughts, rising sea levels, and all the other terrible, horrible, no good, very bad environmental news out there, melting permafrost is one of the worst climate change impacts that scientists anticipate. The frozen soil stores a vast reserve of greenhouse gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. A warming Earth is causing that soil to thaw and release those gases, pushing global temperatures to new heights.
A common response to global problems like climate change and overpopulation is apathy ("I won't be around to see the effects, so what does it matter?") or pessimism ("Nothing we do will stop it"). So, we keep producing greenhouse gases and making babies, and we fail to generate any truly creative, new responses to these problems. So says Richard Gayle, a finalist in the Popular Science #CrowdGrant Challenge and president of SpreadingScience, an organization that trains scientists to improve their methods of sharing their findings, research, and ideas.