Termination Level Transition

Termination Level Transition

News: Recently, Some scientists have suggested that the rising methane levels in Earth’s atmosphere since 2006, driven by biological emissions rather than fossil fuel burning, could indicate that Earth is undergoing or approaching a termination level transition.

What is Termination Level Transition?
• A termination level transition is a term used to describe a significant and rapid shift in Earth’s climate from one state to another, often marking the end of a glacial period and the onset of a warmer interglacial period.
• For example, during past terminations, such as Termination II around 131,000 years ago, Earth’s climate changed from glaciers in certain regions to warmer conditions, leading to changes in ecosystems and weather patterns.

How does Methane threaten Warming limits?
• Methane impacts the surge in temperature by trapping heat in the atmosphere and enhancing the greenhouse effect. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is more than 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
• Methane accounts for about 30 per cent of global warming since pre-industrial times and is increasing faster than expected in recent years.
• Methane emissions come from various sources, such as fossil fuel production, agriculture, landfills, and wetlands.
• Elevated methane levels can contribute to sea-level rise by accelerating the melting of polar ice and glaciers. Sea-level rise threatens coastal communities and exacerbates the impacts of climate change.

What are the initiatives taken to tackle Methane Emissions in India?
• ‘Harit Dhara’ (HD) - Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed an anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’ (HD), which can cut down cattle methane emissions by 17-20% and can also result in higher milk production.
• Coal mines - India has implemented various measures to reduce methane emissions from coal mining activities, such as pre-mining degasification, coal bed methane extraction, ventilation air methane capture, and coal mine methane utilization.
• Agriculture - India has encouraged farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices that can reduce methane emissions from rice cultivation and livestock rearing. For example, Direct seeding of rice, improving feed quality (Harit Dhara), manure management systems etc.
• India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program

What are Global initiatives taken to manage methane emissions?
• Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) - MARS will integrate data from a large number of existing and future satellites that have the ability to detect methane emission events anywhere in the world, send out notifications to the relevant stakeholders to act on it.
• Global Methane Initiative (GMI) - It is an international public-private partnership focused on reducing barriers to the recovery and use of methane as a clean energy source.
• Global Methane Pledge – Voluntary pledge by around 100 countries at COP 26 in 2021 to cut methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. India isn’t part of the pledge. 

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