NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Global methane concentration. Map showing the concentration of methane (CH4) gas in the stratosphere (about 10-50 kilometres in altitude) on 25th July 2004. The concentration is in parts-per-million by volume (ppmv), ranging from low levels (blue) to high levels (red). Methane is produced by activities on Earth's surface, such as rice farming, and is then carried to the stratosphere by rising air. Although a minute proportion of the Earth's atmosphere is composed of methane (less than 0.001 per cent), it is a powerful heat trapping (greenhouse) gas that keeps Earth warm and habitable. For a map of methane levels in Earth's surface, see image E060/022.
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