50%–65% of Methane Emissions Come from Human Activities

The US EPA has a lot to say about methane emissions. Let’s break it down into the basics:

  • As a greenhouse gas, methane is 25 times more potent than an equal amount of CO2 over a 100-year period.

  • Methane emissions come from both man-made and natural sources. Some 50%-65% of methane emissions come from human activities.

  • Methane accounted for 10% of US greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

  • In the US, methane emissions decreased by 15% from 1990 to 2019.

  • While agricultural emissions increased, emissions from landfills, mining, and fossil fuel production decreased.

  • US methane emissions came from the following sources in 2019: 30% natural gas and petroleum systems; 27% enteric fermentation (gas produced from cows and other livestock); 17% landfills, 9% manure management; 7% coal mining, 9% other sources.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency


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