Like carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas – meaning that too much of it in the atmosphere traps excess heat from the sun, and leads to global warming. Though it makes up less of the total greenhouse emissions that come from human activities than does carbon dioxide, methane is actually an even more potent greenhouse gas, and molecule-for-molecule traps more heat than carbon dioxide does. In order to prevent the worst effects of global warming, it is essential that emissions of both carbon dioxide and methane be curbed severely. Among the main sources of methane originating from human activities today are animal-based agriculture, and anaerobic decomposition that takes place in landfills.
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