The main Source of Methane Gas in the Atmosphere of Dhaka is Finally Indicated
BY Zeba Tarunnum
According to a United Nations report, the reduction of methane gas (CH4) emissions is very important to tackle Climate change. This methane gas produces by decomposing living substances. It is a Greenhouse gas (GHG).
Methane gas is not like Carbon dioxide(CO2), another GHG that is most liable to global warming due to its quantity emission in the air. Moreover, The CH4 stays in the atmosphere for a very short time. However, it is more harmful to climate change than carbon dioxide.
Despite the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, record amounts of carbon dioxide and methane gas were found in the atmosphere last year.
According to a report published in Bloomberg Media in April 2021, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the production of methane gas due to climate change. Bangladesh is producing a lot of methane gas among the countries in the world that are most at risk due to climate change which is very harmful for the Natural environment.
Analyzing images and data taken by Kayrros SAS Satellite, the Paris-based company, they identified the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka as one of the main sources of methane. Several other organizations have found similar results in their study.
Yotam Ariel, the founder of Bluefield Technologies, said, their analysis also stated, Bangladesh is producing large amounts of methane gas. Here are some ideas about the source of this gas – paddy fields, landfills, coal reserves, natural gas leaks through pipelines, etc.
However, according to many scientists in Bangladesh, in the image taken by satellite, there is no scientific evidence that Bangladesh is the source of methane gas.
Dr. Maliha Muzammil, the Climate change researcher at the research institute Chatham House, London, saw this report of Bloomberg. She said it is difficult to say what could be the source of methane gas found in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.
Because, in many other countries in the region, paddy is being cultivated, there are piles of garbage, wetlands are being filled. Therefore, it is not certain that this methane gas has been produced in Bangladesh.
Dr. M. Muzammil said this area has been identified based on the satellite image. Without proper testing, it is very difficult to detect. By analyzing carbon isotopes, it could be found, where this methane gas came from.
She added, to determine its source further research and investigation are needed to the place where the concentration of methane is higher.
However, analyzing the satellite images, the concentration of methane is higher in the place where there is more landfill. There are two large landfills in and around Dhaka where all the waste of the city is disposed of. One is at Matuail, south of Dhaka, which is about 25 years old. Its area is about 100 acres. The other is in the northern Aminbazar area, which started in 2007. Its area is about 52 acres.
Dr. M. Muzammil said the reduction of methane gas emissions is possible by making this waste management more modern and eco-friendly. Especially, organic and inorganic wastes should be separated. A recycling culture should be built.
A huge amount of paddy is cultivated in Vietnam and India. Neighbouring India has a lot of cattle farming. That is why people are saying, this methane gas may have produced in another country and it may float and accumulated in Bangladesh.
However, Dr. Maliha Muzammil said, she does not think so.
Because its chances are very less. Methane is a very light gas. Its neighboring countries produce much more methane gas than Bangladesh. However, if this gas had flown over Bangladesh from those countries, it would not have been accumulated in one place, it would have spread.
According to scientists, Methane gas has the potential to cause 84 times more damage than carbon dioxide. To prevent climate change both gas emissions must be reduced.
When this colorless and odorless methane gas rises slowly, it traps the heat. In addition, this capacity of methane is much more than carbon dioxide. By trapping heat, this gas is increasing the temperature of the atmosphere, which is one of the main causes of climate change.
How the methane gas emissions can be reduced and what is the role of Bangladesh?
Dr. Maliha Muzammil said, “Sources of methane gas, such as rice cultivation, landfills, gas pipes leakages, and coal reserves, etc. need to be changed. In the case of agricultural cultivation, Crop diversity should be increased. Then maybe methane gas emissions will reduce a bit.”