The next mass extinction could be closer than we think...

Methane emissions in the South Central US are nearly five times higher than previously thought. According to a new study from Harvard University, there is way more methane being pumped into our atmosphere, and that means a much larger effect on climate change. Overall, total US methane emissions are one and half times the EPA estimates, because the agency was using an invalid method for calculating methane in our atmosphere.

The EPA used a so-called bottom-up approach, which estimates methane release by guessing what one cow or one natural gas field emits, and then multiplying it by the number of those sources. This new Harvard study measured that amount of methane actually present in our atmosphere, and then traced it back to regional sources. The study's lead author, Scot Miller, said, “Most strikingly, our results are higher by a factor of 2.7 over the South Central US, which we know is a key region for fossil-fuel extraction and refining.” He explained that they will continue to research the discrepancy between their study and the EPA estimates, so that they can fully understand the impact of fossil-fuel mining on methane emissions.

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, and it is causing a rapid increase in global temperatures. And, many experts believe that it was responsible for the Permian Mass Extinction, which wiped out nearly all life on Earth. Not only do we need to understand how much methane is in our atmosphere and where it comes from, we must work faster to lower these emissions. If we don't, it could bring about the next mass extinction. The future of our planet, and our species, depends on it. To find out more about the Permian Extinction, and how methane emissions could bring about the next one – go to

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