Arctic Methane

Since the Industrial revolution in the 18th Century,

Methane levels have gone up by almost a factor of three.

And whilst termites and bovines have their roles to play

It’s anthropogenic emissions that are mostly to blame.

 

What’s going on in the Arctic is important to know,

With potential methane time bombs waiting to blow.

But before making claims and saying that we are sure,

It’s important to make clear what may be obscure.

 

Methane emissions over the Arctic are quite complex,

And are not simply solved by the regression of x.

As well as clathrates, ebullition, and wetland release,

Long-range transport can also cause an increase.

 

In order to better quantify these methane details,

Thorough measurements are needed across all the scales.

From ground-based to satellite, and all in between,

With models to show beyond twenty fourteen.

 

My research uses remote sensing measurements from a plane,

Converting measured spectra into columns of methane.

This bridges the gap between land and outer space,

Helping to ensure that no emissions are misplaced.

 

By calibrating my results against an in situ device,

I have been able to show that my method is nice.

With all measurements that have been taken to date,

Agreeing to within 5% of the in situ rate.

 

In conclusion, my work will help to better constrain,

The sources and sinks of Artic methane.

This data can then be used to predict,

What emission sources we need to restrict.

 

The shadow of the research aircraft on the summertime Arctic landscape. (Photo: Michelle Cain)
The shadow of the research aircraft on the summertime Arctic landscape. (Photo: Michelle Cain)

 

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