Food thinkers lunch - Linacre College

May 22nd (Tuesday) 1230 - 1400 hrs - Methane, Climate, and Food Systems

Please register by the 16th of May

Dr Michelle Cain, Oxford Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Climate Pollutants

Dr John Lynch, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physics, Oxford

What is methane "worth" to the climate, and what are the implications for our food system?

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, which contributes significantly to climate change. However, it is also a relatively short-lived gas, so it affects the climate in a fundamentally different way to CO2. This distinction between short- and long-lived greenhouse gases can cause problems if climate emissions metrics (which are used to compare different emissions) are inappropriately applied. About two-thirds of the anthropogenic sources of methane are from agriculture and waste. How these emissions of methane are (mis-)represented makes a big difference to estimates of a food's carbon footprint. This in turn has implications for the types of agricultural production system we support, and how we might prioritise potential mitigations.


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